Special Issue "The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Progress and Prospects"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. William J. McConnell
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, Michigan State University, Manly Miles Building, Room 218, 1405 South Harrison Road, East Lansing, MI 48823-5243, USA
Interests: sustainability; land-use and land-cover change; Africa; China; Nepal
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past decade, international research and policy circles have been increasingly recognizing the need for more integrated research, planning and management of water, energy and food systems to address the interconnected risks to water, energy, and food security. In response, the water-energy-food nexus concept highlights the interactions between these systems and provides insight into the cross-sectoral implications of single-sector strategies. The need to manage resources in an integrated way has never been as urgent as it is today. Growing pressures on natural resources are making the interdependencies and trade-offs between food, water and energy systems, and their interactions with land, climate change and livelihoods, increasingly evident. Understanding their interplay is essential to effectively addressing sustainability challenges. Furthermore, managing food, water and energy systems is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and requires a better understanding of the interactions between the Goals, both at and across different scales. Providing decision-makers with the multifaceted knowledge needed to seize all opportunities to enhance synergies and minimize trade-offs is, therefore, a major objective for sustainability science.

This Special Issue will feature theoretical and empirical work aimed at better understanding the role of land as the nexus of water, energy and food.

Prof. Dr. William J. McConnell
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Land
  • water
  • energy
  • food
  • nexus

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Controversial Connections: The Water-Energy-Food Nexus in the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia
Land 2019, 8(9), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8090135 - 05 Sep 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2590
Abstract
The article takes hydro-development schemes in the Upper Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia as an example to discuss the suitability and shortcomings of nexus approaches for the analysis of complex socio-ecological transformations. Based on critical theoretical debates and extensive field research in Ethiopia, [...] Read more.
The article takes hydro-development schemes in the Upper Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia as an example to discuss the suitability and shortcomings of nexus approaches for the analysis of complex socio-ecological transformations. Based on critical theoretical debates and extensive field research in Ethiopia, the paper broadens the nexus perspective by integrating the three analytical dimensions of time, space, and power. The empirical material comes from a case study of the Fincha-Amerti-Neshe scheme that was implemented in three consecutive stages over almost half a century, combining dams, hydro-power plants, large-scale sugar cane plantations, and a factory for sugar production. The empirical findings follow the historical stages of the scheme and their physical outcomes, which affected much more than just water, energy, and food. The paper explores socio-ecological transformations along the analytical dimensions of time, scale, and power. First, it views time and temporality as essential aspects of change and calls for a more systematic recognition of the historical context out of which development trajectories and current nexus situations have emerged. Second, it takes a cross-scalar perspective to explain how local land use is influenced by regional and global drivers. And third, it emphasizes the importance of asymmetric power structures to explain the dynamics of hydro-developments and their social consequences. In conclusion, the paper calls for a “nexus-plus” perspective that is more sensitive to the historical and cross-scalar embeddedness of hydro-development, and which enables more inclusive and fair governance of scarce resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Progress and Prospects)
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Article
Climate, Land Use and Land Cover Changes in the Bandama Basin (Côte D’Ivoire, West Africa) and Incidences on Hydropower Production of the Kossou Dam
Land 2019, 8(7), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8070103 - 27 Jun 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1723
Abstract
Climate and land use/cover changes are potential drivers of change in hydrology and water use. Incidences of these factors on Bandama hydrological basin and Kossou hydropower generation (1981–2016) in West Africa are assessed in this present work. Using Landsat products of United Stated [...] Read more.
Climate and land use/cover changes are potential drivers of change in hydrology and water use. Incidences of these factors on Bandama hydrological basin and Kossou hydropower generation (1981–2016) in West Africa are assessed in this present work. Using Landsat products of United Stated Geological Survey, results show that water bodies areas and land use have increased by 1.89%/year and 11.56%/year respectively, whereas herbaceous savanna, savanna, forest and evergreen forest coverage have been reduced by 1.39%/year, 0.02%/year, 2.39%/year and 3.33%/year respectively from 1988 to 2016. Hydroclimatic analysis reveals that streamflow presents greater change in magnitude compared to rainfall though both increasing trends are not statistically significant at annual scale. Streamflow varies at least four (two) times greatly than the rainfall (monthly and seasonally) annually except during driest months probably due to land use/cover change. In contrast, Kossou hydropower generation is significantly decreasing (p-value 0.007) at both monthly and annual scales possibly due to water abstraction at upstream. Further works are required to elucidate the combined effects of land use/cover and climate changes on hydrological system as well as water abstraction on Kossou generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Progress and Prospects)
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Review

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Review
Agent-Based Modeling for Integrating Human Behavior into the Food–Energy–Water Nexus
Land 2020, 9(12), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120519 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
The nexus of food, energy, and water systems (FEWS) has become a salient research topic, as well as a pressing societal and policy challenge. Computational modeling is a key tool in addressing these challenges, and FEWS modeling as a subfield is now established. [...] Read more.
The nexus of food, energy, and water systems (FEWS) has become a salient research topic, as well as a pressing societal and policy challenge. Computational modeling is a key tool in addressing these challenges, and FEWS modeling as a subfield is now established. However, social dimensions of FEWS nexus issues, such as individual or social learning, technology adoption decisions, and adaptive behaviors, remain relatively underdeveloped in FEWS modeling and research. Agent-based models (ABMs) have received increasing usage recently in efforts to better represent and integrate human behavior into FEWS research. A systematic review identified 29 articles in which at least two food, energy, or water sectors were explicitly considered with an ABM and/or ABM-coupled modeling approach. Agent decision-making and behavior ranged from reactive to active, motivated by primarily economic objectives to multi-criteria in nature, and implemented with individual-based to highly aggregated entities. However, a significant proportion of models did not contain agent interactions, or did not base agent decision-making on existing behavioral theories. Model design choices imposed by data limitations, structural requirements for coupling with other simulation models, or spatial and/or temporal scales of application resulted in agent representations lacking explicit decision-making processes or social interactions. In contrast, several methodological innovations were also noted, which were catalyzed by the challenges associated with developing multi-scale, cross-sector models. Several avenues for future research with ABMs in FEWS research are suggested based on these findings. The reviewed ABM applications represent progress, yet many opportunities for more behaviorally rich agent-based modeling in the FEWS context remain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Progress and Prospects)
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Review
A Bibliometric Analysis of Food–Energy–Water Nexus: Progress and Prospects
Land 2020, 9(12), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120504 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
Food, energy and water are important basic resources that affect the sustainable development of a region. The influence of food–energy–water (FEW) nexus on sustainable development has quickly become a frontier topic since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were put forward. However, the overall [...] Read more.
Food, energy and water are important basic resources that affect the sustainable development of a region. The influence of food–energy–water (FEW) nexus on sustainable development has quickly become a frontier topic since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were put forward. However, the overall context and core issues of the FEW nexus contributions to SDGs are still unclear. Using co-citation analysis, this paper aims to map the knowledge domains of FEW nexus research, disentangles its evolutionary context, and analyzes the core issues in its research, especially the progress of using quantitative simulation models to study the FEW nexus. We found that (1) studies within the FEW nexus focused on these following topics: correlation mechanisms, influencing factors, resource footprints, and sustainability management policies; (2) frontier of FEW studies have evolved from silo-oriented perspective on single resource system to nexus-oriented perspective on multiple systems; (3) quantitative research on the FEW nexus was primarily based on spatiotemporal evolution analysis, input–output analysis and scenario analysis; (4) the resource relationship among different sectors was synergies and tradeoffs within a region. In general, current research still focuses on empirical data, mostly qualitative and semiquantitative analyses, and there is a lack of research that can systematically reflect the temporal and spatial contribution of the FEW nexus to multiple SDGs. We believe that future research should focus more on how FEW nexus can provide mechanistic tools for achieving sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Progress and Prospects)
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