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Integrated Approaches

Cross-sectoral Issues and Integrated Solutions

Competition for energy, water, and food resources is a grand societal challenge of our time. With global drivers such as population growth, climate change, changing consumption patterns, and urbanization, there are ever increasing demands for reliable energy, clean water, and dependable food resources. These resources are inherently interconnected as land and energy are needed to treat and distribute water, land and water are used to generate energy and grow food and energy crops, energy and water are used for food production, and land use decisions impact land availability for human development and ecosystems as well as the availability and quality of water supplies.

schematic illustrating integrated approaches to the energy-water-food nexus

As identified in the Bonn2011 Conference on the Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus, “in our interconnected world, sectoral “silos” are no longer acceptable ways to approach our targets, because solutions based only on one sector or discipline will unavoidably affect other sectors, whether by design or accident. Nowhere are the interconnections more evident—and critical—than in the water, energy and food sectors, because each is not only connected to, but is also dependent on, the others”. To ensure the health and prosperity of future generations it is essential that development is conducted in a manner that considers the energy, water and food sectors holistically. The energy-water-food nexus perspective offers a new paradigm of thinking that breaks down silos between sectors and uses an integrated approach to identify the challenges and opportunities that exist at the nexus of energy, water and food resources.

This section considers how development affects the three sectors of energy, water and food using an integrated perspective that accounts for both direct and indirect impacts as well as synergies. Integrated approaches include policies, tools and techniques that facilitate nexus thinking or problem solving. These resources can be used to inform analysis, planning and solutions development at national, regional, state and local levels.

Integrated approaches are solutions that include all three aspects of the nexus in their assessment and can be broken down into the following key topic areas:

Resources CESC

Sectors-cesc
Resources countries

Publication

A World at Risk: Aggregating Development Trends to Forecast Global Habitat Conversion

The authors of this article project and aggregate global spatial patterns of expected urban and agricultural expansion, as well as…

Sources:

PLoS ONE

Date:

7 October 2015

Publication

A Review of the Current State of Research on the Water, Energy, and Food Nexus

The purpose of this paper is to review and analyze the water, energy, and food nexus and regions of study,…

Sources:

Elsevier

Date:

1 June 2017

Publication

Accelerating Access to Electricity in Africa with Off-grid Solar: Off-grid Solar Country Briefing: Zambia

This country briefing is one of 13 prepared as part of a background study for the Energy Africa campaign launched…

Sources:

Overseas Development Institute

Date:

1 January 2016

Publication

Accelerating Access to Electricity in Africa with Off-grid Solar: Off-grid Solar Country Briefing: Uganda

This country briefing is one of 13 prepared as part of a background study for the Energy Africa campaign launched…

Sources:

Overseas Development Institute

Date:

1 January 2016

Publication

Accelerating Access to Electricity in Africa with Off-grid Solar: Off-grid Solar Country Briefing: Tanzania

This country briefing is one of 13 prepared as part of a background study for the Energy Africa campaign launched…

Sources:

Overseas Development Institute

Date:

1 January 2016

Publication

Accelerating Access to Electricity in Africa with Off-grid Solar: Off-grid Solar Country Briefing: Rwanda

This country briefing is one of 13 prepared as part of a background study for the Energy Africa campaign launched…

Sources:

Overseas Development Institute

Date:

1 January 2016

Publication

Accelerating Access to Electricity in Africa with Off-grid Solar: Off-grid Solar Country Briefing: Nigeria

This country briefing is one of 13 prepared as part of a background study for the Energy Africa campaign launched…

Sources:

Overseas Development Institute

Date:

1 January 2016

Publication

Accelerating Access to Electricity in Africa with Off-grid Solar: Off-grid Solar Country Briefing: Malawi

This country briefing is one of 13 prepared as part of a background study for the Energy Africa campaign launched…

Sources:

Overseas Development Institute

Date:

1 January 2016

Publication

Accelerating Access to Electricity in Africa with Off-grid Solar: Off-grid Solar Country Briefing: Kenya

This country briefing is one of 13 prepared as part of a background study for the Energy Africa campaign launched…

Sources:

Overseas Development Institute

Date:

1 January 2016

Publication

Accelerating Access to Electricity in Africa with Off-grid Solar: Off-grid Solar Country Briefing: Ghana

This country briefing is one of 13 prepared as part of a background study for the Energy Africa campaign launched…

Sources:

Overseas Development Institute

Date:

1 January 2016

Publication

Agrivoltaic Systems to Optimise Land Use for Electric Energy Production

In this work, a patented “agrivoltaic” solar tracking system named Agrovoltaico is examined in combination with a maize crop in…

Sources:

Applied Energy

Date:

15 June 2018

Publication

Agrivoltaic Potential on Grape Farms in India

To investigate and quantify PV generation potential, without significantly harming agriculture output, the authors of this study explore the viability…

Sources:

Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments

Date:

1 October 2017

Publication

Aquavoltaics: Synergies for Dual Use of Water Area for Solar Photovoltaic Electricity Generation and Aquaculture

This paper reviews the fields of floatovoltaic technology (i.e., water-deployed solar photovoltaic systems) and aquaculture (i.e., farming of aquatic organisms)…

Sources:

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

Date:

1 December 2017

Publication

Cities and “Budget‐based” Management of the Energy‐Water‐Climate Nexus: Case Studies in Transportation Policy, Infrastructure Systems, and Urban Utility Risk Management

This article reviews city case studies to inform a framework for developing urban infrastructure design standards and policy instruments that…

Sources:

Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy (AlChE)

Date:

3 November 2017

Publication

Climate and Water Resource Change Impacts and Adaptation Potential for US Power Supply

This paper evaluates the performance of 1,080 thermoelectric plants across the contiguous United States under future climates (2035–2064) and their…

Sources:

Nature International Journey of Science

University of New York

The City College of New York

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Sandia National Laboratory

Date:

30 October 2017

Tools and Websites

Columbia Water Center: Water-Food-Energy Nexus

The CWC studies how the water, food, and energy sectors are interrelated and how climate affects the relationship. On the…

Sources:

Columbia Water Center

Publication

Concrete Thermal Energy Storage for Linear Fresnel Collectors: Exploiting the South Mediterranean’s Solar Potential for Agri-food Processes

This case study examines the possibility of generating, by a solar industrial process heating plant, the thermal energy required annually…

Sources:

Energy Conversion and Management

Date:

15 June 2018

Publication

Coupling Aquaculture with Forest Plantations for Food, Energy, and Water Resiliency

Coupling freshwater aquaculture and forest bioenergy markets can improve food, energy, and water resiliency by enhancing ecosystem services through fertilization,…

Sources:

Science of the Total Environment

Date:

15 November 2016