Special Issue "Toward Integrated Water-Energy-Land-Food Management"

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Cara Beal
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Medicine | Cities Research Institute | School of Engineering and Built Environment; Griffith University, Nathan 4111, QLD, Australia
Interests: community water management; remote Indigenous communities; demand management and behaviour change; smart metering; environmental health; Pacific Island water management
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Integrated water management has been widely recognized as a fundamental framework toward achieving long-term water security through a whole-of-water-cycle approach. Looking through a wider lens beyond just water resources, this Special Issue seeks to investigate further into the inextricable and complex interactions between water-energy-land-food (WELF) resources in urban, rural and remote communities. We are particularly interested in research papers on the challenges associated with water-energy-food insecurity in remote, isolated and rural regions across the world. In these areas, ensuring a good quality and secure water, food and energy supply is typically more economically, environmentally and socially demanding, made all the more complex with impacts of climate change becoming increasingly apparent. Moreover, the WELF nexus cannot rely on "business as usual" management approaches, and examples of a systems approach accounting for the inherent inter-dependencies will be well received. Both qualitative and quantitative research approaches are welcome, as are short technical notes and review papers.

Dr. Cara Beal
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. Resources 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 1600 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

  • water-energy nexus;
  • carbon emissions;
  • climate change;
  • water-energy-food security;
  • off-grid communities;
  • renewable resources;
  • sustainable agriculture;
  • resource efficiency
  • Water-energy-land-food nexus

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Article
Water Governance in Cambodia: From Centralized Water Governance to Farmer Water User Community
Resources 2017, 6(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources6030044 - 31 Aug 2017
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4986
Abstract
Cambodia has abundant water resources in the wet season and a scarcity of water in the dry season. These phenomena undermine the development in this country and pose a threat to long-term development. Hence, the governance of water becomes critically important for the [...] Read more.
Cambodia has abundant water resources in the wet season and a scarcity of water in the dry season. These phenomena undermine the development in this country and pose a threat to long-term development. Hence, the governance of water becomes critically important for the current and future development of Cambodia. Thus, this study is undertaken to understand the current water governance practice, challenges and constraints that prevent Cambodia from managing water effectively, and identify opportunities to improve it. In doing this, the study examines the water governance in Cambodia from a large-scale water management system and three community-based water resource management systems and farmer water user communities (FWUCs) in three provinces around Cambodia. It concludes that the current water governance practice in Cambodia is still too weak and fragmented to address the water security issues affecting the country, and thus, reorganization of the current structure and system of the water governance framework would be required to address long-term water security issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toward Integrated Water-Energy-Land-Food Management)
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Article
Seasonal Migration and Settlement around Lake Chad: Strategies for Control of Resources in an Increasingly Drying Lake
Resources 2017, 6(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources6030041 - 25 Aug 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5101
Abstract
The Lake Chad Basin has for a very long period supported the livelihoods of millions of peoples from the different countries that share this transboundary water resource. Its shrinking over the decades has meant that many of those who depend on it for [...] Read more.
The Lake Chad Basin has for a very long period supported the livelihoods of millions of peoples from the different countries that share this transboundary water resource. Its shrinking over the decades has meant that many of those who depend on it for livelihoods would have to adjust to the changing resource environment of this lake basin. This study sets out to examine the seasonal migration of people in search of water, pasture, fuelwood and cultivable land, and how this movement affects access and use of basin resources. The study made use of survey data obtained from 220 household heads on the Cameroon side of the Lake Chad basin, and secondary data from Cameroon ministries in charge of agriculture, the environment, and that of livestock. Our findings show that while fishing and livestock rearing continue to feature among the oldest determinants of population movements in the Lake Chad basin, increasingly the search for new farming opportunities made available by a shrinking lake and the political instability emanating from Nigeria are also becoming an important determinant. The increasing population in the lake region is compounding pressures created by a shrinking lake on access to water, fuelwood, pasture, and farmland. While there is potential to develop and benefit from the agricultural possibilities emerging from a shrinking lake, the impacts of poor agricultural resource management (especially land degradation, loss of agricultural biodiversity, and poor water management) may hamper the sustainable practice of agriculture if proper efforts are not made to address them. This study contributes to the scientific understanding of the changing nature of environmental resources in Africa. It specifically contributes to understanding the exacerbating threats to the sustainability of natural resources (water, agricultural and grazing land) caused by environmental changes, diversification of rural actors (fishers, farmers, breeders), weak resource management, and since 2013, by an armed conflict. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toward Integrated Water-Energy-Land-Food Management)
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Article
The Land–Water–Food Nexus: Expanding the Social–Ecological System Framework to Link Land and Water Governance
Resources 2017, 6(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources6030028 - 19 Jul 2017
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5439
Abstract
To date, the land–water–food nexus has been primarily addressed from an ecological, hydrological or agronomic angle, with limited response to the governance interface between the input resources. Likewise, in widely used heuristic frameworks, such as the social–ecological system (SES) framework, governance interactions between [...] Read more.
To date, the land–water–food nexus has been primarily addressed from an ecological, hydrological or agronomic angle, with limited response to the governance interface between the input resources. Likewise, in widely used heuristic frameworks, such as the social–ecological system (SES) framework, governance interactions between resources are not sufficiently addressed. We address this gap empirically, using the case of Tajikistan, based on a farm household survey analysis of 306 farmers. The results indicate that land system variables contribute to the willingness to cooperate in irrigation management. Specifically, formal land tenure has a positive effect on farmers paying for water as well as on the likelihood of their investing time and effort in irrigation infrastructure, which is decisive for Tajikistan’s food and fiber production. Irrigation system variables show that, e.g., being an upstream user increases the likelihood to contribute to labor maintenance efforts. We further discuss how decisions with respect to the land sector could be designed in the future to facilitate cooperation in other resource sectors. Further, we conclude from a conceptual perspective that the SES framework integrating a nexus perspective can be adapted: either (1) by adding a second-tier “governance nexus” variable inside the governance variable of an irrigation system; or (2) by adding a land resource unit and system outside the irrigation system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toward Integrated Water-Energy-Land-Food Management)
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Article
Assessment of the Successes and Failures of Decentralized Energy Solutions and Implications for the Water–Energy–Food Security Nexus: Case Studies from Developing Countries
Resources 2017, 6(3), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources6030024 - 30 Jun 2017
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 5235
Abstract
Access to reliable and affordable energy is vital for sustainable development. In the off-grid areas of developing countries, decentralized energy solutions have received increasing attention due to their contributions to reducing poverty. However, most of the rural population in many developing countries still [...] Read more.
Access to reliable and affordable energy is vital for sustainable development. In the off-grid areas of developing countries, decentralized energy solutions have received increasing attention due to their contributions to reducing poverty. However, most of the rural population in many developing countries still has little or no access to modern energy technologies. This paper assesses the factors that determine the successes and failures of decentralized energy solutions based on local harmonized case studies from heterogeneous contexts from Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and South America. The case studies were analyzed through the coupled lenses of energy transition and the Water–Energy–Food Security (WEF) Nexus. The findings indicate that access to modern decentralized energy solutions has not resulted in complete energy transitions due to various tradeoffs with the other domains of the WEF Nexus. On the other hand, the case studies point at the potential for improvements in food security, incomes, health, the empowerment of women, and resource conservation when synergies between decentralized energy solutions and other components of the WEF Nexus are present. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toward Integrated Water-Energy-Land-Food Management)
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Article
Putting Phosphorus First: The Need to Know and Right to Know Call for a Revised Hierarchy of Natural Resources
Resources 2017, 6(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources6020020 - 04 Jun 2017
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4434
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to develop two concepts regarding phosphorus that will serve as a contribution fulfilling the call for intergenerational equity: to improve knowledge of future resources and to develop a framework by setting priorities for maximizing availability with a [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to develop two concepts regarding phosphorus that will serve as a contribution fulfilling the call for intergenerational equity: to improve knowledge of future resources and to develop a framework by setting priorities for maximizing availability with a hierarchy of natural resources. The increasing human demand for minerals and metals is causing persistent concern about long-term supply security. This holds true particularly for phosphorus. Phosphorus is bioessential; it cannot be substituted. There are no unlimited resources for phosphorus. The question of how large the reserves are and the potential for finding additional reserves and resources for a long-term supply are, therefore, of interest to numerous stakeholders, from governments to individuals. We examine governments’ needs and individuals’ rights to know private exploration data. Because of the essential nature of phosphorus, we emphasize the public’s special right to know as much as possible about phosphate reserves, resources and the geopotential for new discoveries, based upon the basic human right to feed oneself in dignity. To fulfill the call for intergenerational equity, however, knowledge alone is not enough; guidelines for management have to follow. This can be achieved by defining a hierarchy of natural resources for setting priorities. For humankind’s technological and cultural development, a sufficient supply of energy resources must be considered the key element; therefore, efforts to maximize information that will enable best decisions to be made have been the strongest. A hierarchy of natural resources with fossil and nuclear energies at the top was proposed. However, with the new development of renewable forms of energy and the decreasing role of fossil-fuel energy, the hierarchy of natural resources that defines priorities must be revised. We propose a hierarchy that replaces fossil-fuel energy at the top with phosphorus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toward Integrated Water-Energy-Land-Food Management)
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Essay
Key Issues of Interdisciplinary NEXUS Governance Analyses: Lessons Learned from Research on Integrated Water Resources Management
Resources 2017, 6(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources6010009 - 31 Jan 2017
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3978
Abstract
Governance has become a cornerstone in addressing complex linkages between multiple resources such as water, energy, and food. However, contributions of governance research in interdisciplinary research projects are either lacking or highly controversial. Drawing on Integrated Water Resources Management-related experiences of German research [...] Read more.
Governance has become a cornerstone in addressing complex linkages between multiple resources such as water, energy, and food. However, contributions of governance research in interdisciplinary research projects are either lacking or highly controversial. Drawing on Integrated Water Resources Management-related experiences of German research projects in emerging and developing countries, we demonstrate how to strengthen NEXUS-related governance analyses: There has to be a stronger focus on the analyses of existing and useful governance strategies as well as of conditions for governance transitions; governance analyses should refer to different types of problems, instead of only focusing on single cases and abstract analyses; and answers must be based on a more elaborate practice of inter- and transdisciplinary research. These suggestions should be implemented on the level of single researchers, but should also require incentives on an institutional level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toward Integrated Water-Energy-Land-Food Management)
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