Organisations & Networks

​​​Water-Energy-Food-Health Nexus Renewable Resources Initiative (WEFRAH)

WEFRAH is an initiative led by AUB's FAFS. This two year seed funding initiative includes a critical mass of faculty from across the university. WEFRAH’s focus is collaboration to achieve primary resources security. The initiative is in response to the President’s vision of engagement and impact to strengthen collaborations between AUB Faculties and Schools, particularly to promote interdisciplinary collaboration by nurturing a bottom-up, participatory approach within AUB and between AUB and its external stakeholders.

WEFRAH opens venues for collaboration with other universities within Lebanon and its outcome and action oriented approach links naturally and organically to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 by presenting a contextualized, relevant approach to their achievement in the MENA region.

Resources gaps facing the MENA region, including access to water, food, energy, nutrition and health care, are expected to increase with demographic and climate changes. These highly interlinked primary resources carry high risks and vulnerability. Understanding these risks and vulnerabilities though quantifying them to better understand the complex system of systems they represent is crucial and requires multi-disciplinary work that includes the technologies, science, policies, health, communication, and economics, at local process and system level scales.​

Vision

To make AUB a regional hub for innovations in water-energy-food-health nexus and interconnectedness in renewable resources in arid and semiarid regions.

Goals

  • Increase collaborations among various faculties/schools and research and policy units on campus on issues related to primary renewable resources.
  • Increase the knowledge level of the Water-Energy-Food-Health Nexus system.
  • Develop a critical mass of inter-disciplinary teams across faculties at AUB that allow them to be more competitive for large scale external funding.
  • Expand research, education, and capacity development opportunities at AREC under WEFRAH.
  • Expand regional and international cooperation.​

Key Research Question​s

  1. How to increase the resilience of the human and earth systems in arid and semi-arid environments?
  2. How to understand an​​d better manage their complex system of systems of primary resources?

Long-term Viability

WEFRAH intends to build capacity for AUB in this crucial area. Seed funding is expected​ to create capacity for sustained external funding from research, foundation, development, and private sectors.

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Further reading

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Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

JRC Technical Report // Water-Energy-Food Nexus Interactions Assessment: Renewable Energy Sources to support Water Access and Quality in West Africa

By Kougias I., Szabó S., Scarlat N., Monforti F., Banja M., Bódis K., Moner-Girona M. Mitigating the big challenges of access to clean water, energy and poverty in Africa requires integrated solutions. The analysis of issues related to the water, energy, food and the ecosystem through a nexus approach, has attracted the interest of scientists, policy-makers and the private sector. The present Technical Report examines the potential of such an approach to create beneficial synergies between the...

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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...

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Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

Pompage Solaire // Investigation de l’impact des installations de pompage solaire sur la consommation d’eau et la situation socio-économique d’un agriculteur dans 3 zones pilotes au Maroc

Cette étude vise à mieux comprendre comment la conversion au pompage solaire peut influencer la consommation d'eau et les conditions socio-économiques d'un agriculteur marocain par rapport aux autres systèmes de pompage d'eau. L'étude s'est appuyée sur une enquête menée auprès de 150 agriculteurs répartis sur les territoires suivants 3 zones distinctes : la zone de Marrakech, la zone de Midelt et la zone de Tata. L'étude a été réalisée par le projet GIZ Sustainable Energy for Food - Powering...

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