India is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. With the rapidly increasing population and growing energy demand, the country is already facing challenges in the interaction between water, energy, and food systems. Water scarcity could be a significant obstacle for meeting needs in India's growing cities, energy supply, and agricultural production.
A key focus of this review paper is the interaction of water with energy and food. To provide a framework for spatial and temporal analysis of the nexus studies, we use the Global Change Analysis Model to identify the most water-stressed areas in India throughout 2050, as well as energy needs and land use. Then we review more than 100 studies to assess the evolution of competing demands for water, energy and food and identify research gaps in published water-energy-food (WEF) nexus studies.
This review of published WEF nexus studies in India reveals that most studies are not designed to capture the interaction between multiple dimensions, which means they may underestimate water demands and water stress in the country. Only a few studies focus on future challenges and effects of climate change on water, energy, and food systems.
The paper highlights the major gaps in the existing literature, contrasts them with large-scale, medium-resolution, modeled results on water scarcity, and provides recommendations for future research.