Exploring the challenges and opportunities in the Water, Energy, Food nexus for Arid Region

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 9, Issue 4, 1080355
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d8.0355
Sameh W. H. Al-Muqdadi1 , Ali Khalaifawi1, Basima Abdulrahman2, Faisal Aziz Kittana3, Khalid Zaki Alwadi4, Mohammed Humam Abdulkhaleq5, Saif Salwan Al Saffar6, Shahda Mazin Al Taie7, Sheelaz Merza8, Reem Al Dahmani9
1 Green Charter , Franz-Belzer Str.2 , 76316 Malsch, Germany
2 KESK Green Building Consulting, Erbil, Iraq
3 Electricite De France, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
4 IBM, Dubai, United Arab of Emirate
5 Civil Engineer, Dubai, United Arab of Emirate
6 Petroleum Engineer, Dubai, United Arab of Emirate
7 Mechanical Engineer, Dubai, United Arab of Emirate
8 Sustainability Excellence, United Arab of Emirate
9 Landscape Architect, Abu Dhabi, United Arab of Emirate


Water, Energy, and Food sectors are interlinked in a nexus wherein actions relevant to one sector can often influence other sectors to a high degree. Globally, there has been a growing focus on ensuring water, energy, and food security in different kinds of frameworks and models. The current research aims to describe the complex interlinks between the three sectors by evaluating the challenges and opportunities in the following domains: policy, management, and technology. The hypothesis is to provide a basic practice framework to secure better outreach to tackle the interlinks and mismatches within the nexus elements. The methods used a dynamic framework through a transdisciplinary team; the team divided the nexus into six sub-sectors and collecting the primary data through fieldwork interviewing 22 stakeholders and secondary data of 211 literature. The approach of complex adaptive systems and evolving mental models have been used to analyse and develop the framework. The results show that interlinks within the water, energy, and food nexus are quite challenging to be identified since each region has different needs. However, the customized framework covered the gaps holistically, which can be used as a fundamental practice guideline. The study also proposed practical solutions and highlighting the opportunities to secure the future of sustainable development goals.  

Keywords: Water–energy–food nexus, Sustainable development, Resource management, Governance

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