Special Issue "Sustainable Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 July 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Veera Gnaneswar Gude
Website
Guest Editor
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
Interests: N–E–W (nutrient–energy–water) nexus; biofuels; desalination and wastewater treatment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Mark Zappi
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering and Energy Institute of Louisiana, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA
Interests: biofuels; biorefineries; FEW nexus; sustainable chemical engineering and process development
Prof. Dr. Todd French
Website
Guest Editor
Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering and Renewable Fuels Laboratory, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
Interests: biofuels; biorefineries; FEW nexus; industrial microbiology; oleaginous microorganisms; renewable fuels; sustainability
Prof. Dr. Rafael Hernandez
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering and Energy Institute of Louisiana, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA
Interests: biorefineries; chemical engineering and process technology; oleaginous microorganisms; reaction kinetics; renewable fuels; wastewater treatment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The current nexus of food, energy, and water systems is quite complex. The FEW nexus depends on regional needs affected by population density, resource availability, and management of these resources. For this reason, the FEW nexus needs to be studied at local, regional, national, and international levels. There is also a large water, energy, and resource footprint imbalance across nations due to increasing import and export activities, affected by changing climate and extreme weather events. On the other hand, water and food production systems are constantly exposed to numerous emerging pollutants (i.e., microplastics, PFAS, and PPCPs). Scientific and technological advances alone cannot solve these issues. Management and policy amendments are also critical to proper implementation of the novel synergies in energy generation, water, and food production systems. Proper monitoring and modeling of these complex systems is critical to the development of sustainable F–E–W systems.

This Special Issue welcomes submissions from (but not limited to) the following areas:

  • Water–energy nexus
  • Water–energy–environment nexus
  • Food–energy–water nexus
  • Modeling and monitoring of FEW systems
  • Urban FEW systems
  • Rural FEW systems
  • Climate change and FEW nexus
  • Water impacts on FEW nexus
  • Energy impacts on FEW nexus
  • Policy and management strategies for FEW nexus
  • Scientific advances towards FEW nexus
  • Novel synergies for FEW nexus
  • FEW sustainability issues

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Veera Gnaneswar Gude
Prof. Dr. Mark Zappi
Prof. Dr. Todd French
Prof. Dr. Rafael Hernandez
Guest Editors

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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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

  • food–energy–water nexus
  • sustainability
  • climate change
  • emerging pollutants
  • modeling
  • monitoring
  • systems perspective
  • water and wastewater infrastructure
  • agriculture

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Historical Trends in New Mexico Forage Crop Production in Relation to Climate, Energy, and Rangelands
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2051; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052051 - 06 Mar 2020
Abstract
This study was conducted within the context of providing an improved understanding of New Mexico’s food, energy, water systems (FEWS) and their behavior under variable climate and socioeconomic conditions. The goal of this paper was to characterize the relationships between production and prices [...] Read more.
This study was conducted within the context of providing an improved understanding of New Mexico’s food, energy, water systems (FEWS) and their behavior under variable climate and socioeconomic conditions. The goal of this paper was to characterize the relationships between production and prices of some forage crops (hay, grain sorghum, and corn) that can be used as feed supplements for beef cattle production and the potential impacts from a changing climate (precipitation, temperature) and energy inputs (crude oil production and prices). The analysis was based on 60 years of data (1958–2017) using generalized autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity models. Hay production showed a declining trend since 2000 and in 2017, it dropped by ~33% compared to that of 2000. Crude oil production (R2 = 0.83) and beef cattle population (R2 = 0.85) were negatively correlated with hay production. A moderate declining trend in mean annual hay prices was also observed. Mean annual range conditions (R2 = 0.60) was negatively correlated with mean annual hay prices, whereas mean annual crude oil prices (R2 = 0.48) showed a positive relationship. Grain sorghum production showed a consistent declining trend since 1971 and in 2017, it dropped by ~91% compared to that of 1971. Mean annual temperature (R2 = 0.58) was negatively correlated with grain sorghum production, while beef cattle population (R2 = 0.61) and range conditions (R2 = 0.51) showed positive linear relationships. Mean annual grain sorghum prices decreased since the peak of 1974 and in 2017, they dropped by ~77% compared to those of 1974. Crude oil prices (R2 = 0.72) and beef cattle population (R2 = 0.73) were positively correlated with mean annual grain sorghum prices. Corn production in 2017 dropped by ~61% compared to the peak that occurred in 1999. Crude oil production (R2 = 0.85) and beef cattle population (R2 = 0.86) were negatively correlated with corn production. Mean annual corn prices showed a declining trend since 1974 and in 2017, they dropped by ~75% compared to those of 1974. Mean annual corn prices were positively correlated with mean annual precipitation (R2 = 0.83) and negatively correlated with crude oil production (R2 = 0.84). These finding can particularly help in developing a more holistic model that integrates FEWS components to explain their response to internal (i.e., management practices) and external (i.e., environmental) stressors. Such holistic modeling can further inform the development and adoption of more sustainable production and resource use practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus)
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Open AccessArticle
An Evaluation of Historical Trends in New Mexico Beef Cattle Production in Relation to Climate and Energy
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6840; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236840 - 02 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In support of Food-Energy-Water Systems (FEWS) analysis to enhance its sustainability for New Mexico (NM), this study evaluated observed trends in beef cattle population in response to environmental and economic changes. The specific goal was to provide an improved understanding of the behavior [...] Read more.
In support of Food-Energy-Water Systems (FEWS) analysis to enhance its sustainability for New Mexico (NM), this study evaluated observed trends in beef cattle population in response to environmental and economic changes. The specific goal was to provide an improved understanding of the behavior of NM’s beef cattle production systems relative to precipitation, temperature, rangeland conditions, production of hay and crude oil, and prices of hay and crude oil. Historical data of all variables were available for the 1973–2017 period. The analysis was conducted using generalized autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity models. The results indicated declining trends in beef cattle population and prices. The most important predictors of beef cattle population variation were hay production, mean annual hay prices, and mean annual temperature, whereas mean annual temperature, cattle feed sold, and crude oil production were the most important predictors for calf population that weigh under 500 lb. Prices of beef cattle showed a strong positive relationship with crude oil production, mean annual hay prices, rangeland conditions, and mean annual precipitation. However, mean annual temperature had a negative relationship with mean annual beef prices. Variation in mean annual calf prices was explained by hay production, mean annual temperature, and crude oil production. This analysis suggested that NM’s beef cattle production systems were affected mainly and directly by mean annual temperature and crude oil production, and to a lesser extent by other factors studied in this research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Bibliometric Analysis of Food-Energy-Water Nexus Literature
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1112; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031112 - 04 Feb 2020
Abstract
Rapid growth in the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus literature calls for an assessment of the trajectory and impacts of this scholarship to identify key themes and future research directions. In this paper, we report on a bibliometric analysis of this literature that focuses on [...] Read more.
Rapid growth in the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus literature calls for an assessment of the trajectory and impacts of this scholarship to identify key themes and future research directions. In this paper, we report on a bibliometric analysis of this literature that focuses on (1) examining publication trends and geographic focus of research, (2) identifying research hotspots and emerging themes, (3) assessing the integrated nature of research, and (4) reflecting on major developments and ways forward. We used Elsevier’s SCOPUS database to search for publications from January 2011 to May 2018 on the FEW nexus, and analyzed the final sample of 257 publications using BibExcel and Vosviewer software tools. The analysis showed steady growth in publications since 2011 with a sharp upturn in 2015 and 2016, coinciding with major funding calls. Thematic analysis of abstracts revealed a strong focus on quantitative resource interlinkages with limited attention to qualitative institutional capacities and intersectoral governance challenges. Term co-occurrence network map showed the term “investment” connected with a large number of frequently cited terms, while the term “governance” demonstrated much weaker links. We reflect on how these findings may help us better understand and address the enduring challenge of transitioning from nexus thinking to action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus)
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