Modelling and Assessment

Holistic Water-Energy-Food Nexus for Guiding Water Resources Planning // Matagorda County, Texas Case

By Muhammed I. Kulat, Rabi H. Mohtar and Francisco Olivera. The authors developed a holistic framework to provide sustainable scenarios that include feasible infrastructure interventions. The framework focuses on water and associated links with other resources, includes a unique analytic tool for quantifying scenarios, and ultimately produces a sustainability analysis of each scenario. Optimal scenarios are offered that consider site-specific dynamic resource interlinkages. The WEF nexus model used in this study helps produce advisable scenarios including possible interventions from which stakeholders, observers, and policy makers can then make informed decisions.

Nations, particularly those with well-established infrastructure, have started to look for new, innovative solutions to address the expected, inevitable high demand for primary resources. The WEF (water-energy-food) Nexus approach, which holistically considers the dynamic interlinkages between water, energy, and food resources, has come to the forefront within scientific and practice communities.

Supporters assert that sustainable solutions can be revealed through the use of this approach, rather than conventional approaches that often overlook the interlinkages.

The platform was applied to the case study of Matagorda County, Texas, identified as one of the most water-stressed regions in the state of Texas by the Texas Water Development Board, the state's executive agency for water resources management. High demands from energy and agriculture sectors in the county and sharp population increase in the upper basins, which include the city of Austin, have put great pressures on the water resources of Matagorda County. Farmers have been forced to change their crops from high to lower water-demand crops, in spite of apparent and relatively abundant local water resources.

The findings of the case study present a most sustainable scenario, including infrastructure interventions that will increase the annual income of agriculture sector from $188 million to $239 million. The approach also helps preserve resources while reducing annual water and energy demand by 22 million m3 and 21 million kWh, respectively, and does not sacrifice on-going municipal and industrial water use or energy production in Matagorda, Texas.

Published

February 2019

In

Front. Environ. Sci. 7:3

Download

Frontiers in Environmental Science (open access)

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Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

Nexus Publicación // Manual de Capacitación Equipo Móvil de Bombeo Solar

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Research

WEF Nexus Publication // Applying the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approach to Catalyse Transformational Change in Africa

RES4Africa Foundation’s new study carried out in collaboration with Open Economics, looks at a WEF nexus project in rural Tanzania integrating hydro-powered mini-grid and agri-business usages that distributes water, power and food services to the surrounding communities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects that the innovative Nexus project can have on a specific area. In doing this, a microeconomic impact assessment was developed to evaluate economic, social and environmental costs...

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Governance

WEF Nexus Research // Solar Energy Farming as a Development Innovation for Vulnerable Water Basins

By Mohammad Al-Saidi and Nisreen Lahham. This article evaluates a project from the Azraq Basin in Jordan, and presents similar international experiences, particularly from India. It assesses solar energy farming as an innovation from a water-energy-food nexus perspective.

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