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Water 2019, 11(2), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020306

Towards Ranking the Water–Energy–Food–Land Use–Climate Nexus Interlinkages for Building a Nexus Conceptual Model with a Heuristic Algorithm

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Thessaly, 38334 Volos, Greece
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights on the Water–Energy–Food Nexus)
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Abstract

The concept of the Water–Energy–Food nexus (WEF), as documented by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), suggests that the three resources are thoroughly interrelated, shaping a complicated web of interlinkages. Perceiving the three commodities as an interdependent variable system, rather than isolated subsystems is a step towards a more holistic approach, and thus a prerequisite to introducing a sustainable scheme for better managing resources. In this work, the well-documented WEF nexus is broadened to a five-dimensional nexus, also involving land use and climate. A methodology for drawing the interrelations among the five dimensions and unreeling the complicated system of direct and indirect interlinkages is given. The intensity of interlinkages among nexus components is initially assessed through a three-point typology with interlinkage scoring corresponding to resource use in Greece. The typology is used and is further expanded to quantify successfully all interlinkages among nexus components with a proposed heuristic algorithm. Results are used to create the cross-interlinkage matrix that identifies food as the most influencing resource and water as the resource mostly influenced by other nexus elements. Results show that indirect interlinkages of multiple resources can be very significant and should not be ignored when planning nexus-coherent policy initiatives and investments in different sectors, in order to promote resource efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: Nexus informatics; sustainability; resource efficiency; complex systems; systems analysis; heuristic algorithm; policy coherence Nexus informatics; sustainability; resource efficiency; complex systems; systems analysis; heuristic algorithm; policy coherence
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Laspidou, C.S.; Mellios, N.; Kofinas, D. Towards Ranking the Water–Energy–Food–Land Use–Climate Nexus Interlinkages for Building a Nexus Conceptual Model with a Heuristic Algorithm. Water 2019, 11, 306.

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