The water-energy-food nexus: A systematic review of methods for nexus assessment

Publicado en Environmental Research Letters, v. 13, 043002

Albrecht, Tamee R., Crootof, Arica, Scott, Cristopher A.

Año de publicación 2018

Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States of America School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States of America



Proyecto CRN3056
PDFThe Water-Energy-Food Nexus A systematic review of methods for nexus assessment.pdf


This paper reviews WEF nexus methods to provide a knowledge base of existing approaches and promote further development of analytical methods that align with nexus thinking. The systematic review of 245 journal articles and book chapters reveals that (a) use of specific and reproducible methods for nexus assessment is uncommon (less than one-third) (b) nexus methods frequently fall short of capturing interactions among water, energy, and food&mdashthe very linkages they conceptually purport to address (c) assessments strongly favor quantitative approaches (nearly three-quarters) (d) use of social science methods is limited (approximately one-quarter) and (e) many nexus methods are confined to disciplinary silos&mdashonly about one-quarter combine methods from diverse disciplines and less than one-fifth utilize both quantitative and qualitative approaches. To help overcome these limitations, we derive four key features of nexus analytical tools and methods&mdashinnovation, context, collaboration, and implementation&mdashfrom the literature that reflect WEF nexus thinking. By evaluating existing nexus analytical approaches based on these features, we highlight 18 studies that demonstrate promising advances to guide future research. This paper finds that to address complex resource and development challenges, mixed-methods and transdisciplinary approaches are needed that incorporate social and political dimensions of water, energy, and food utilize multiple and interdisciplinary approaches and engage stakeholders and decision-makers.