Trade-offs and Decision Support Tools for FEW Nexus-Oriented Management



Existing assessment and decision support tools have limited application to real-world food-energy-water (FEW) Nexus challenges. Integrated assessment approaches are often discipline-specific or highly theoretical, lacking grounding in real-world FEW issues.

Recent Findings

FEW systems require application of integrated techniques that address multiple attributes of trade-off analyses, dynamic and disparate datasets, and difficult decision contexts. Research must enable: appropriate tool sets matched with FEW Nexus hotspots; customizing existing tools to fit local specifics; compatibility between collected data and integrative nexus assessment tool needs; evaluation of these assessments through incorporation of stakeholder input and guidance forward for solution implementation.


The core challenge is identification and design of a set of strategies that are robust under various future conditions (scenarios). Successful strategies must address natural, technological, and human system settings. Approaches that clarify the range of beneficial and potentially adverse trade-offs will support the identification of decisions and intervention options.

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Fig. 1


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This research was partially supported by the Texas A&M WEF Nexus initiative.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rabi H. Mohtar.

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Conflict of Interest

Bassel Daher, Walid Saad, Suzanne A. Pierce, Stephan Hülsmann, and Rabi H. Mohtar declare no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Additional information

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Nexus of Food, Water, Energy

FEW Nexus Workshop on Integrated Science, Engineering, and Policy: A Multi Stakeholder Dialogue

January 26–27, 2017, College Station Texas

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Daher, B., Saad, W., Pierce, S.A. et al. Trade-offs and Decision Support Tools for FEW Nexus-Oriented Management. Curr Sustainable Renewable Energy Rep 4, 153–159 (2017).

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  • Decision support
  • Participatory modeling
  • Trade-offs
  • Integrative assessments
  • Resource allocation and planning
  • Sustainability evaluation
  • Dialog