Present and future of the water-energy-food nexus and the role of the community of practice

  • Rabi H. MohtarEmail author
  • Richard Lawford


The paper discusses an integrated approach to the management of three primary resources: water, energy, and food (WEF), as these increasingly represent the greatest global risks because they are expected to be highly impacted by climate change, demographics, aging infrastructure, and other challenges in the twenty-first century. As background, the WEF nexus is defined; significant historical developments of nexus thinking noted; and important connections to systems-science theory presented. An interdisciplinary WEF nexus platform is defined and proposed to support scholarship and to be a bridge between science, policy, and the general community of stakeholders. The interdisciplinary nexus platform is then differentiated from more common discipline-specific approaches. A review of the WEF nexus history, important benchmarks, and the foundation in system-science theory are presented. The paper concludes with a call for a WEF nexus community of practice (NCoP) to promote and enable an integrative approach to develop and employ tools with the purpose of strengthening sustainable food security, increasing energy production, and bridging water supply gaps that have arisen in demands for both food and energy. The transdisciplinary platform created by the NCoP will carry strong societal impact while addressing the scarcity and sustainable management of these primary resources.


Community of practice Water-energy-food nexus Knowledge sharing Resource scarcity Resources managment 


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Copyright information

© AESS 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and Zachary Department of Civil EngineeringTexas AM UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Morgan State UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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