The Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Resources: Visions and Challenges in Spatial Computing

  • Emre Eftelioglu
  • Zhe Jiang
  • Xun Tang
  • Shashi Shekhar
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Geographic Information Science book series (AGIS)


In the coming decades, the increasing world population is expected to increase the demand for food, energy, and water (FEW) resources. In addition, these resources will be under stress due to climate change and urbanization. Previously, more problems were caused by piecemeal approaches analyzing and planning those resources independent of each other. The goal of the FEW nexus approach is to prevent such problems by understanding, appreciating, and visualizing the interconnections and interdependencies of FEW resources at local, regional, and global levels. The nexus approach seeks to use the FEW resources as an interrelated system of systems, but data and modeling constraints make this a challenging task. Also, the lack of complete knowledge and observability of FEW interactions exacerbates the problem. Related work focuses on physical science solutions (e.g., desalination, biopesticides). No doubt these are necessary and worthwhile for FEW resource security. Spatial computing may help domain scientists achieve their goals for the FEW nexus. In this chapter, we describe our vision of spatial computing’s role in understanding the FEW nexus from a spatial data life cycle perspective. We provide details of each of the spatial computing components. For each component, we list new technical challenges that are likely to drive future spatial computing research.


Food Energy and water nexus Spatial computing 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1029711, IIS-1320580, 0940818 and IIS-1218168, U.S. DoD under Grant No. HM1582-08-1-0017, HM0210-13-1-0005, and University of Minnesota via U-Spatial. We would like to thank Kim Koffolt and the members of the University of Minnesota Spatial Computing Research Group for their comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emre Eftelioglu
    • 1
  • Zhe Jiang
    • 1
  • Xun Tang
    • 1
  • Shashi Shekhar
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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