HS5.3.4

Multi-scale water-energy-land nexus planning to manage socio-economic, climatic, and technological change

The world's energy, water, and land systems are in transition and rapidly integrating, driven by forces such as socioeconomic, demographic, climatic, and technological changes as well as policies intended to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other societal priorities. These dynamics weave across spatial scales, connecting global markets and trends to regional and sub-regional economies. At the same time, resources are often locally managed under varying administrative jurisdictions closely tied to inherent characteristics of each commodity such as river basins for water, grid regions for electricity and land-use boundaries for agriculture. Local decisions, in turn, are critical in deciding the aggregate success and consequences of national and global policies. Thus, there is a growing need to better characterise the energy-water-land nexus to guide robust and consistent decision making across these scales under changing climate.

This session aims to address this challenge for the energy-water-land nexus in nascent infrastructure planning and sectoral transitions. Contributions can include work dealing with applications of existing nexus approaches in sustainability assessment and design of future developments at different scales (i.e. urban to regional planning), as well as new methods that address existing gaps related to incorporating processes at different scales, bridging data gaps, improving optimisation approaches, or dealing with transboundary issues.

For example, the concepts of water footprint (WF) and water productivity (WP) are widely used in agricultural and industrial production. As a global resource, a wise management of water is not a national matter, it needs to be understood in a global context. To achieve SDGs, water management can be improved through smart consumption and trade of blue and green water resources in all water-related sectors across different scales (local to national to global) to sustain and enhance food and energy supply and manufacturing. Contributions that integratively apply WF and WP concepts in different sectors or scales to study scarcity, sustainability, security, and equity of limited water resources are also welcome.

Public information:
We would like share with session participants and attendees this Focus Issue, of the same topic, in Environmental Research Letters that we are guest editing. Get in touch if you have queries about submission.

https://iopscience.iop.org/journal/1748-9326/page/Multi-Scale-Water-Energy
Convener: Edo Abraham | Co-conveners: Hamideh Nouri, Edward A. Byers, Zarrar Khan, Simon Parkinson, Sattar Chavoshi Borujeni, Alejandro Galindo, Markus Berger
vPICO presentations
| Wed, 28 Apr, 15:30–17:00 (CEST)
Public information:
We would like share with session participants and attendees this Focus Issue, of the same topic, in Environmental Research Letters that we are guest editing. Get in touch if you have queries about submission.

https://iopscience.iop.org/journal/1748-9326/page/Multi-Scale-Water-Energy

Session assets

Session materials

vPICO presentations: Wed, 28 Apr

Chairpersons: Edo Abraham, Hamideh Nouri, Zarrar Khan
15:30–15:35
Multi-scale water-energy-land nexus planning
15:35–15:40
|
EGU21-15989
|
ECS
|
solicited
Adriano Vinca, Keywan Riahi, Andrew Rowe, and Ned Djilali

Approaches that integrate feedbacks between climate, land, energy and water (CLEW) have increasingly advanced and have become more complex. Such so called nexus approaches have already been useful in quantitatively assessing strategies under resource scarcity, planning infrastructure for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals or assessing cross-sectoral climate change impacts. However, most of the models and frameworks do often miss some important inter-linkages that could actually be addressed by using newest models. The reason for such negligence is often technical and practical, as many of the newly developed and open-source frameworks are not yet widespread. We review and present these models so that decision maker needing tools for analysis could identify what is best for their needs. Particular attention is given to model usability, accessibility, longevity and community support. At the same time we discuss research gaps, and room for improvement for next development of the models from a scientific point of view. We explore at different scales where and why some nexus interaction are most relevant. We find that both very small scale and global model tend to neglect some CLEW interaction, but for different reasons. The first rarely include climate impacts, which are often marginal at local level. While the latter mostly lack pieces because of the complexity of large full CLEW system at the global level.

How to cite: Vinca, A., Riahi, K., Rowe, A., and Djilali, N.: Climate Land Energy Water nexus models reviewed across scales: progress, gaps and best accessibility practices, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15989, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15989, 2021.

15:40–15:42
|
EGU21-13811
|
Highlight
Jennie Rice and the IM3 Author Team

The Integrated Multisector, Multiscale Modeling (IM3) foundational science research project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, focuses on developing flexible, open-source, integrated modeling capabilities that capture the structure, dynamic behavior, and emergent properties of the multiscale interactions within and between human and natural systems. IM3 uses these capabilities to study the evolution, vulnerability, and resilience of interacting human and natural systems and landscapes from local to continental scales within the U.S., including responses to the compounding effects of long-term influences and short-term shocks. A key objective is to understand the implications of uncertainty in data, observations, models, and model coupling approaches for projections of human-natural system dynamics. IM3’s first phase (2017-2020) focused on regional-scale energy-water dynamics, interactions between land use and land cover change and regional climate, and on generating 1-km2 population and urbanization projections consistent with the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways. Current research is projecting the compound influences of climate change, heat waves, drought, socioeconomics, population, and urbanization on the dynamic interactions between energy, water, land, and urban systems during the 21st century, while maintaining consistency with global socioeconomic conditions. Experimental objectives include understanding the key drivers and interactions affecting the evolution of urban heat, water scarcity, and electricity grid stress. Modeling scales include the continental U.S., major electricity interconnections, watersheds, and urban areas, and experiments investigate the fidelity implications of differential spatiotemporal and process resolutions across scales. IM3 is also coordinating (and invites participation in) an open Community of Practice to establish a conceptual framework for the field of multisector dynamics to accelerate progress across relevant projects and areas of research. This presentation will outline the scope and challenges of IM3 as a transdisciplinary project seeking to contribute new insights and modes of analysis across scales, sectors, and systems.

How to cite: Rice, J. and the IM3 Author Team: The Integrated Multisector, Multiscale Modeling (IM3) Research Project, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13811, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13811, 2021.

15:42–15:44
|
EGU21-14550
|
ECS
Jeroen Verhagen, Pieter van der Zaag, and Edo Abraham

Integrating the operational planning of river, land and power infrastructure could safeguard the water, energy and food security in regions where these resources are under pressure by increasing demands and decreasing availabilities and production potentials. Our work focuses on the benefits of integration and cooperation in the operational planning of these resources and infrastructures between riparian states in transboundary river basins. Therefore we introduce a regional hard-linked WEF-nexus model that explicitly represents resource connectivity networks, gridded agro-hydrological potentials and constraints, national socio-economic demands and non-linear operational processes to optimise reservoir operations, water allocations, cropping patterns, electricity mixes and trade quantities on a monthly time-step over multiple years in a receding horizon fashion. This iterative process facilitates the modelling of changes as feedback against exogenous disturbances and, through the exchange of information between countries, different levels of cooperation. We optimize the total economic returns of resource allocation for four different transboundary cooperation scenarios over an historic planning period in the Eastern Nile basin, for each country and regionally, for multiple foresight settings and policy objectives. Compared to the reference scenario of unilateral planning, our results indicate an increase in regional economic returns for scenarios in which flow information is shared between countries (+8%), flow and trade information is shared (+9%) and resources are coordinated regionally (+13%), without this being accompanied by a significant decline in returns for any country. These increased returns successively come from an increase in the effectiveness of agricultural water consumption, especially in Sudan, a change in trade patterns for agricultural products and a shift in cropping patterns. These findings illustrate the importance of adequate representations of spatial and temporal heterogeneity and resource connectivity, and the need for a  more  diverse  set  of  collaboration  scenarios  to  quantify the  costs  and  benefits  of  specific  interventions  and  policies to facilitate comprehensively planning in transboundary river systems.

How to cite: Verhagen, J., van der Zaag, P., and Abraham, E.: Operational planning of WEF infrastructure: quantifying the value of cooperation in the Eastern Nile basin, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14550, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14550, 2021.

15:44–15:46
|
EGU21-10370
|
ECS
Elke Kellner

The Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus has gained growing interest in recent years as a promising approach to overcome governance failures in dealing with complex resource management challenges. Various qualitative and quantitative methods from different disciplines have been used to understand Nexus issues, but just few of these take into account (1) the role of institutions on interactions, and (2) the intertwinedness of social and ecological interactions, which cause social-ecological patterns in Nexus issues.

This paper introduces an approach to address that methodological gap. Specifically, the paper links two nascent approaches –the Networks of Action Situations (NAS) approach and the Social-Ecological Action Situations (SE-AS) framework. The value and the potential of the approach introduced is illustrated for two Nexus cases with a problem constellation, which is quite typical for many regions in the world. The two cases are reservoir-lake-river-cascades with water uses for drinking water, energy- and food-production in the canton of Zurich and in the canton of Bern, Switzerland. The results show governance gaps and coordination problems regarding the WEF Nexus. The governance processes prioritise energy production in both WEF Nexus cases and drinking water in one case. Both cases do not take into account food production in the coordination processes. The study presents the value of the approach by demonstrating the ways in which institutions limit or support synergies, how adjacent actions situations shape decisions with immediate relevance for collective outcomes in WEF Nexus, and how the intertwined interplay of social-ecological interactions jointly and dynamically generate social-ecological patterns in Nexus situations.

How to cite: Kellner, E.: Capturing Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus as a network phenomenon in social ecological systems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10370, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10370, 2021.

15:46–15:48
|
EGU21-13766
|
ECS
Mahesh Lal Maskey, Liying Li, Angel S. Fernandez-Bou, Joshua H. Viers, and Josue Medellin-Azuara

Climate signals have been consistently changing over the past century, together with increased population and human activities. Consequently, notable shifts in timing and magnitude of floods and drought and declining surface and subsurface water storage have been seriously posing effects on water supply and demand throughout the planet. Hence, it becomes relevant to understand the optimal water allocation to different water users such as agriculture, urban, environmental, and wildlife refuge and manage water infrastructure projects accordingly to support optimal water allocation. In the past, we have shown the successful application of the statewide hydro-economic model, also known as CALVIN (California Value Integrated Network)1,2, to minimize water allocation costs and optimize water utility under the policy, operational, and environmental constraints.

This study utilizes economic and water allocation output from the CALVIN model historical run (1921 to 2003; monthly scale), and it explores the opportunity cost of water storage and conveyance expansion in California (economic data based on 2050 projected water use3,4). This study performs a time series analysis on the marginal economic value of expansion to characterize the correlation between historical climatic factors with water allocation capacity extension to characterize how climate events such as droughts or floods can affect the profitability of water infrastructure expansion projects. The result provides useful information for statewide planners and decision-makers in setting coping strategies for the future under climate change conditions5,6. Additionally, this study uses the historical run expansion cost results to identify the most profitable water infrastructure expansion locations using spatial analysis. This study concentrates on agriculture and urban water demands from surface and groundwater sources and categorizes the water allocation over different water years dictated by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). This study offers a holistic approach to elucidate responses of existing water supply-demand nexus, and the results will be useful for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) of California.

References:

 

How to cite: Maskey, M. L., Li, L., Fernandez-Bou, A. S., Viers, J. H., and Medellin-Azuara, J.: Integrated Spatial and Economic Analysis on Water Infrastructure Expansion Profitability and Affecting Climatic Factors within the Central Valley of California, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13766, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13766, 2021.

15:48–15:50
|
EGU21-2270
Stefano Galelli, Kais Siala, AFM Kamal Chowdhury, and Thanh Duc Dang

Fossil fuels and hydropower dams have long been at the backbone of power supply systems in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), an energy policy catalyzed by the direct availability of these resources, the backing of foreign investments, and the limited coordination among the many decision-makers. Such policy has resulted in large externalities: gas and coal-fired plants contribute to the carbon footprint of all GMS countries, particularly Thailand; dams have affected the riverine ecosystems, impacting entire economic sectors. According to the official energy plans, coal will be soon sidelined, but dams will keep playing an important role. That is despite the availability of solar and other renewable resources. Is it possible to design more sustainable energy plans for the GMS? Can we limit the number of dams that will be built in the near future? What are the main technologies and policies that should be prioritized? To answer these questions, we developed a spatially-distributed numerical model that co-optimizes capacity expansion as well as hourly dispatch of generation, transmission, and storage. The model is applied to Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, over a planning period spanning from 2016 to 2037. Optimization results show that the generation capacity planned by these countries could be met in a more sustainable manner by relying on solar PV, which could supply about one third of the projected electricity demand. Investments in renewable energy should be supported by cross-border grid interconnections, which would connect load centers to more production sites, easing the supply-demand balancing. To put the analysis in a broader water-energy context, we also assess the impact of current and proposed energy plans on river connectivity and flows. Overall, our analysis demonstrates that there are untapped opportunities for untying the fate of the Mekong River basin from that of power supply and economic development.

How to cite: Galelli, S., Siala, K., Chowdhury, A. K., and Dang, T. D.: Designing sustainable energy plans for the Greater Mekong Subregion, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2270, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2270, 2021.

15:50–15:52
|
EGU21-1193
|
ECS
Sara Masia, Zolo Kiala, Janez Sušnik, Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi, and Graham Jewitt

Water, Energy, and Food sectors are interconnected and part of a complex system referred to as the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus. The assessment of WEF interactions through the nexus approach is crucial to illustrate interlinkages, synergies, and minimise trade-offs among these three components when development plans are assessed. Water, energy, and food are at the core of developing countries' goals and strategies where interest in the WEF nexus approach is rapidly growing. However, a lack of empirical evidence, appropriate methods, and quantitative WEF nexus assessment tools has been highlighted. Thus, WEF Nexus Toolkit (WEF-Tools) project aims at supporting policymakers across the water, energy, and food sectors to make evidence-based decisions on environmental, economic, and resource security issues. In this study, we qualitatively and quantitatively assess the WEF nexus in the Songwe River Basin (SRB), located on the border between Malawi and Tanzania. Reducing poverty, improving human health and livelihoods, ensuring water, food, and energy security, mitigating floods, and enhancing sustainable river basin management are the main challenges recognised by the SRB Programme (SRBP) jointly developed by the Governments of both countries. The construction of a multi-purpose dam is a key objective of the SRBP. The dam is intended to supply water for ⁓180 MW hydropower plant, ⁓86000 dwellers, ⁓3000 ha of irrigation schemes in each country, and control floods in the lower part of the basin. WEF-Tools has assessed the SRBP expected outcomes by applying an approach that starts from conceptual mapping of the SRB nexus system and progresses to the development of quantitative tools such as System Dynamics Models (SDMs), and identification of suitable indicators for the assessment of different scenarios, management strategies, subsequently providing decision-makers with feasible development pathways. Ultimately, this work will provide a structured knowledge base, simulation tool, dashboard, and a composite nexus index co-developed, tested, validated, and refined through interactive collaboration with stakeholders and local experts. Thus, it is intended that the toolkit supports the development of short-, medium- and long-term strategies for sustainable integrated resource management and policy development. Outcomes will provide a means for government ministries, NGOs, and development agencies to assess progress towards relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDGs 2, 6, and 7.

 

Keywords: Water-Energy-Food Nexus, multi-purpose reservoir, decision making, System Dynamics Model, SDGs, Songwe River Basin

 

 

How to cite: Masia, S., Kiala, Z., Sušnik, J., Mabhaudhi, T., and Jewitt, G.:  Water-Energy-Food Nexus assessment of the intended outcomes of the Songwe River Basin Programme in Malawi and Tanzania, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1193, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1193, 2021.

15:52–15:54
|
EGU21-13855
|
ECS
Quentin Ploussard, Nathalie Voisin, Thomas Veselka, and Konstantinos Oikonomou

This paper aims to assess the discrepancy in hydropower representation between conventional PCMs and hydro scheduling tools and propose a new method to account for hydrological and environmental aspects in PCMs. To achieve this, three scenarios are simulated. The first scenario simulates hydropower operations using a conventional PCM. The second scenario uses an iterative method to integrate into a PCM the hydropower operations modeled by a hydro scheduling tool. The third scenario explores a hybrid alternative in which hydropower operations are simulated based on dynamic hydropower parameters calculated from detailed environmental constraints. These dynamic hydropower parameters are calculated via “surfaces”, or bivariate functions, generated in advance by the hydro scheduling tool used in scenario 2 under numerous hydrological conditions.

How to cite: Ploussard, Q., Voisin, N., Veselka, T., and Oikonomou, K.: Hydro-Economics Tradeoff Surfaces to Guide Unit Commitment in Production Cost Models, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13855, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13855, 2021.

15:54–15:56
|
EGU21-1043
Janez Susnik, Sara Masia, Daina Indriksone, Ingrida Bremere, Lydia Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia, and Floor Brouwer

The water-energy-food-land-climate nexus sectors interact in a complex system operating on many scales. Better understanding this system, and its response to change (e.g. climate change, policy implementation) is urgently required, yet little progress has been made on integrating real policy objectives into nexus models to assess potential nexus-wide impacts of policy decisions. Given current concerns on resource scarcity, and on the growing appreciation of how connected the sectors are, under-standing how the implementation of policy objectives in one area will impact (1) other nexus sectors and (2) potential future system behaviour, is becoming vitally important. Despite this, little progress has been towards such an understanding. In this work, a fully integrated system dynamics model of the water-energy-food-land-climate nexus in Latvia is presented. The model couples all the nexus sectors in a feedback driven modelling framework. Latvia is represented in five distinct yet inter-acting regions, allowing finer scale interrogation of results and policy implications. In addition, real Latvian policies are integrated within various nexus sectors (e.g. a policy to improve crop yields or to expand agricultural lands at the expense of other land use types). Due to the integrated nature of the model, executing any policy will not only have an impact within the policy sector (e.g. water), but the nexus-wide impacts can also be determined (e.g. on GHG emissions). Results show that due to the inter-connectedness, impacts range far more widely than may be anticipated. For example, implementing policies to achieve goals related to cereal land coverage in Latvia prevents the attainment of policy goals relating to emissions reductions. As such, synergies can be identified and harnessed, while trade-offs can be avoided. Policy can then be (re-)designed to maximise nexus-wide benefits. This work is carried out in the framework of the H2020 project SIM4NEXUS, which will deliver 10 more such models exploring the policy impacts on the nexus at different scales (sub-national to European). As such, the work starts to fill a crucial academic and applied knowledge gap: how policies designed for a single sector have impacts that ripple throughout the entire nexus. As such, guidelines for more intelligent policy design can start to be formulated, something that is lacking in current nexus research.

How to cite: Susnik, J., Masia, S., Indriksone, D., Bremere, I., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia, L., and Brouwer, F.: Integrated system dynamics modelling of the water-energy-food-land-climate nexus in Latvia: exploring the impact of policy measures in a nexus-wide context, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1043, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1043, 2021.

15:56–15:58
|
EGU21-6994
Homero Castanier

In the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Targets - Indicators 2016-2030, the objective of this paper is to address the limitations of SDG 6 “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, designing a model that could better approach especially target 6.4 Water use and scarcity, and among its indicators 6.4.1 Change in water use efficiency over time, and 6.4.2 “Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources”, considering as well the importance of the close linkages to target 6.5 Water resources management and indicator 6.5.1 Degree of integrated water resources management implementation (0-100).

 

Data on water resources availability and demand is a key indicator that should be approached at subnational or at main basins levels and at local level, since at a global scale, this information is not known for most local and rural communities and towns, which are vulnerable and lack of services of drinking water and irrigation for food security.[1]

 

In relation to indicator 6.4.2 (Level of water stress), it implies monitoring water resources assessment and availability, fundamental to life, health, food security, energy, the environment, and human well-being. However there are distortions of the indicator from national to local levels that may have different values, as i) high differences in the values of water stress between basins, and ii) towns suffer from water stress at different degrees.

 

As in the case of Ecuador in South America, with 6.24% of water stress (2017), a very low value that indicates that “water does not represent a particular challenge or limiting factor for economic development and sustainability”[2], which does not reflect the actual situation of cities and towns representing an estimate of 50% (or an estimate of 8.5 million inhabitants) of the country´s population affected by water scarcity. Neither the different hydric potentials of the country[3], between the Pacific Basin with 5200 m3/year/inhab and the Amazon Basin with 82900 m3/year/inhab.

 

To control these distortions on the indicator, fundamental for sustainable development, the model approaches hydrological - hydrometric data from national or regional level to cities and towns levels, that would help countries with fundamental data translated in the incorporation of a complementary indicator, as the percentage of the population, whose water sources are monitored by means of adequate measuring methods, providing information on surface water and ground water regimes that influence water availability.

  

The model contributes to assure the information on actual water availability to control water stress at all levels, from local to subnational or basin, and to national and regional levels.


[1] Castanier, H. (2020). Assessment of Local Water Resources for Sustainable Development Goals. EGU General Assembly 2020. doi: 10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-899.

 

[2] Biancalani, R., Frenken, K. (2016). Monitoring of SDG target 6.4. FAO.

 

[3] Total renewable freshwater resources – TRWR, as the long-term average annual flow of rivers and recharge of groundwater measured as a volumetric unit.

 

How to cite: Castanier, H.: Monitoring water availability by a multi level model to address water scarcity, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6994, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6994, 2021.

15:58–16:00
|
EGU21-2324
|
ECS
Chelsea Kaandorp, Nick van de Giesen, and Edo Abraham

Sustainable energy systems can only be achieved when reducing both carbon emissions and water use for energy generation. Water-energy nexus studies are therefore crucial for supporting environmental policy oriented towards the mobilisation of resources in an optimally integrated way. Decarbonizing heating infrastructures is an important part of achieving low-carbon energy systems because they globally account for 50% of the final energy consumption and 40% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In our study, we quantitatively assess the changing water usage of the energy sector due to the integration of low carbon heating infrastructures. Multiple future energy mix scenarios were assessed  by building a multi-scale energy and water use model that quantifies the direct and virtual water footprint of space heating and hot water use in households, services and industry. In this presentation we show an analysis on the water use of heating pathways towards the year 2050 for the Netherlands and its capital, the city of Amsterdam. Additionally, we present preliminary results from our research about the trade-offs between carbon emission reductions, insulation measures and energy reliability in neighbourhoods in Amsterdam.

How to cite: Kaandorp, C., van de Giesen, N., and Abraham, E.: Decarbonising future heating systems: trade-offs between water use and CO2 emissions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2324, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2324, 2021.

Water footprint and water productivity
16:00–16:05
|
EGU21-15434
|
solicited
Elsa Semmling, Markus Berger, Jazmin Campos, Mauro Carolli, Iana Dantas, Ervin Kosatica, Annika Kramer, Natalia Mikosch, Hamideh Nouri, Anna Schlattmann, Falk Schmidt, and Anna Schomberg

The water footprint has developed into a widely-used concept to examine water use and resulting local impacts caused during agricultural and industrial production. Building on recent advancements in the water footprint concept, it can be an effective steering instrument to support, inter alia, achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) - SDG 6 in particular. Within the research program “Water as a Global Resource” (GRoW), an initiative of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, a number of research projects currently apply and enhance the water footprint concept in order to identify areas where water is being used inefficiently and implement practical optimization measures. We aim to raise awareness on the potential of the water footprint concept to inform decision-making in the public and private sectors towards improved water management and achieving the SDGs. In particular, we show how modern water footprint methods and tools developed in GRoW can inform policy planning towards more sustainable use of water resources at various levels. They can also support producers in determining their indirect water use and associated impacts in supply chains, in addition to their (often comparably low) direct water use at production sites. Finally, we show how the water footprint can raise awareness and inform consumers about the hidden water use and resulting impacts of daily products and services.

How to cite: Semmling, E., Berger, M., Campos, J., Carolli, M., Dantas, I., Kosatica, E., Kramer, A., Mikosch, N., Nouri, H., Schlattmann, A., Schmidt, F., and Schomberg, A.: Advancing the Water Footprint into an instrument to support achieving the SDGs, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15434, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15434, 2021.

16:05–16:07
|
EGU21-6725
|
ECS
|
Highlight
Anna Schomberg, Martina Flörke, and Stefan Bringezu

Renewable energies play a key role in avoiding carbon dioxide emissions from fossil electricity generation. However, support for certain renewable energy technologies focused only on greenhouse gas reduction can reinforce other environmental impacts and thus shift the problems. The authors therefore compare three forms of renewable electricity generation, namely concentrated solar power, run-of-river hydropower and sugarcane bagasse burning, to classical electricity generation from hard coal combustion with respect to their contribution to regional water scarcity. In a comparative life cycle impact assessment the quantitative and qualitative demand for water is assessed in a comprehensive conceptual framework against the background of regional water availability. A spatially explicit analysis reveals hotspots of water use along the case studies’ supply chains with a strong focus on mining activities. For this purpose, the global supply chains of nine mineral resources (aluminium, clay, coal, copper, gypsum, iron, lime, lithium and phosphate) were regionalised at mine site level in advance, so that contributions to environmental impacts can be assigned to single mine clusters. Next to the locations of the case studies itself, about 40 % of all contributions are associated with mining activities. Hard coal mining in Russian and Chinese mines as well as in South Africa as part of the supply chains of all case studies makes up the largest share of this. Further contributions are from mining of iron ore in Australian mines and copper extraction in Chinese, North American and Peruvian mines. However, up to 65 % of the life cycle impacts cannot be spatially analysed due to limited data availability. These findings indicate that a detailed investigation of mining supply chains is necessary to compare power generation technologies in a meaningful way. Results also show that sugarcane bagasse burning, if used as by-product and not as waste, is responsible for the largest contributions to all indicators, suggesting that targeted use of biomass for electricity generation is not is not very effective in reducing global environmental impacts, such as contribution to water scarcity.

How to cite: Schomberg, A., Flörke, M., and Bringezu, S.: Water scarcity footprint of renewable electricity generation in the context of regional impacts from mining activities, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6725, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6725, 2021.

16:07–16:09
|
EGU21-100
Hamideh Nouri, Sattar Chavoshi Borujeni, Pamela Nagler, Armando Barreto Munoz, Kamel Didan, and Arjen Hoekstra

The concept of a sustainable green city based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)–Goal 11 - sustainable cities and communities – may not be narrowed down to solely intensifying urban green spaces. Sustainability could include urban water management to alleviate possible conflict among “water‐saving” and “greening cities” strategies. Water consumption by urban greenery has a major role in urban water management, particularly in water-scarce regions where green covers are most affected by drought and aridity. More green and blue water resources are required to maintain and expand urban green spaces. Quantifying the water footprint of urban greenery helps to balance greening cities while water saving from both green and blue water resources. We employed remote sensing and artificial intelligence techniques to assess the water consumption and water footprint of a 780‐ha public green space, the Adelaide Parklands in Australia. We estimated the green and blue water footprint of this green space (containing 29 parks) during 2010-2018 on a monthly basis. Our results showed that the mean total water footprint of the Adelaide Parklands was about 7.75 gigaliter per annum over 2010-2018; it varied from 7.19 gigaliter/year in 2018 to 8.45 gigaliter/year in 2012. The blue water footprint was consistently higher than the green water footprint even in wet time of the year. We suggest implementing sponge city and water sensitive urban design (WSUD) techniques to help greening cities while reducing the water footprint of urban green spaces. These approaches have the potential to lessen the pressure on blue water resources and optimise the consumption of green water resources.

How to cite: Nouri, H., Chavoshi Borujeni, S., Nagler, P., Barreto Munoz, A., Didan, K., and Hoekstra, A.: Changes in the water footprint of urban green spaces over time, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-100, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-100, 2021.

16:09–16:11
|
EGU21-10096
|
ECS
Alejandro Galindo, Mireia Corell, María Jose Martín-Palomo, Teresa Carrillo, Ignacio Girón, Luís Andreu, Ana Centeno, David Pérez-López, and Alfonso Moriana

The scarcity of natural resources around the world has obligated to consider the concept of sustainability in all human activities. Agriculture is not an exception, it is the activity where sustainability is more important, mainly in irrigated orchards. Sustainable water uses are commonly associated with a low water footprint. Water footprint works conclude that the main differences are in the water management at the orchard level. The olive orchard is located at an arid, water scarce location where irrigation water needs are very high and therefore the water footprint. However, an efficient, sustainable water use could be performed in these situations. The aim of this work is the design of an index (Hydrosustainable index, HydroSOS) to estimate the olive grower’s effort at orchard level for improving the sustainability of irrigated olive groves. HydroSOS marks a wide range of field activities link to irrigation management. All these are grouped into hydraulic and agronomic components. Each component has different levels and marks according to its relation to the increase in water sustainability. Irrigation scheduling components are the most valued in the index, though others such as water use efficiency, irrigation system, or soil management are also included.  Four different levels are considered in relation to the final mark. HydroSOS is designed as a dynamic index to improve the objectivity in the evaluation of grower’s effort in irrigation optimization. Two cases of study are presented in two superhigh density olive orchards. Although both orchards are very similar in applied water and climatic conditions, HydroSOS index separated in two very different classifications.

How to cite: Galindo, A., Corell, M., Martín-Palomo, M. J., Carrillo, T., Girón, I., Andreu, L., Centeno, A., Pérez-López, D., and Moriana, A.: Combination of indicators for increasing irrigation sustainability. Definition of a Hydrosustainable Index., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10096, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10096, 2021.

16:11–16:13
|
EGU21-1777
|
ECS
|
Highlight
Joris Herz, Ana Meijide, Christian Stiegler, Bunyod Holmatov, Alexander Knohl, and Hamideh Nouri

The global population growth and changes in human lifestyle and consumption patterns put immense pressure on the limited freshwater resources in the world. Aiming at sustainable use and equitable allocation of the water resources, it becomes crucial to know the water appropriation for the production of different commodities and consumer goods. These days, oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is one of the highest-demanded crops around the globe since the oil of its fruits and kernel is widely used as biofuel and major ingredients in food and cosmetic industries. Given this massive demand, the areas under oil palm cultivation in the tropics have continuously been expanding in the last decades, particularly in Indonesia. With the oil palm boom, not only biodiversity loss, and carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation have been increasing, but also the consumptions of blue and green water resources are of concern. 

In this ongoing research, the concept of water footprint (WF) is employed to quantify the green and blue water use of oil palm production in the Bajubang district, Batanghari regency, Jambi province, Sumatra, Indonesia. This is one of the first studies that uses field-measured data of evapotranspiration (ET) from oil palm plantations in different growth stages over seven years for the purpose of WF assessment, compared to the available literature where ET was estimated using modelling approaches. The multi-year measurements were conducted using the eddy covariance technique, which continuously measures water vapor (H2O) fluxes at the ecosystem level over the plantation. Based on these measurements, specifically, the WF assessment is performed on a product basis during the plantation life cycle, per area and time unit, for the oil palm fruit yield and oil palm derived products (palm oil, palm-oil biodiesel). Besides the crop water consumption at the plantation (i.e. ET) as the core element, other water consumptions in the products’ processing chain are included in the WF assessment. Preliminary results indicate a WF of 2440 m3 t-1 for palm oil and 65 m3 GJ-1 for palm-oil biodiesel. This is about 50% lower than the global average estimates. Local WF account of oil palm products has a critical contribution to product transparency while being useful for comparative purposes. Contrasting the WFs of products serving the same function (e.g., palm oil biodiesel, soybean biodiesel) is of essential importance, aiming at conscious product choices in a world of freshwater scarcity.

Keywords: water footprint, oil palm, palm oil, Indonesia, eddy covariance, evapotranspiration

How to cite: Herz, J., Meijide, A., Stiegler, C., Holmatov, B., Knohl, A., and Nouri, H.: Improved water footprint of oil palm products using eddy covariance measurements of evapotranspiration, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1777, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1777, 2021.

16:13–16:15
|
EGU21-98
|
ECS
Weijing Ma, Feili Wei, Jianpeng Zhang, Daniel Karthe, and Christian Opp

Despite the awareness that green water is the main source of water to produce food, studies on green water use in cropland ecosystems are still rather limited, and almost no research has so far explored its driving factors. In this study, with the help of CropWat 8.0, the green water footprint (GWF) of main crops in China was estimated for the period from 1979 to 2016. On this basis, a novel concept, i.e., green water appropriation rate (GWar) was introduced to reveal the relationship between GWF and precipitation. Then, for the first time, the center of gravity trajectory and the driving factors of the GWar were further investigated. The results show that the total GWF in China has continuously increased from 312,915 million m3 in 1979 to 397,207 million m3 in 2016, an increase of 27%. The provinces with the largest increases were Inner Mongolia (223%), Xinjiang (127%), and Ningxia (123%). Meanwhile, the GWFs of 11 provinces have decreased, and 9 of them were municipalities or coastal areas. The GWar first rose from 30% in 1979 to 38% in 2009 in China, and then dropped to 30% in 2016. Generally, the GWar in the eastern and central provinces was greater than that in the western provinces. The center of gravity of the GWar has always been in Henan Province, but it has moved westward from Kaifeng City in 1979 to Sanmenxia City in 2016 and may further move to Shanxi Province soon. The total power of agricultural machinery and the effective irrigation rate had positive effects on the GWar, while the agricultural GDP was negatively correlated with the GWar. It is expected that the results will explicitly provide a scientific basis for the development of water-appropriate agriculture and the full utilization of rainwater.

How to cite: Ma, W., Wei, F., Zhang, J., Karthe, D., and Opp, C.: Green Water Appropriation of the Cropland Ecosystem in China, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-98, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-98, 2021.

16:15–16:17
|
EGU21-11026
|
ECS
Amali A. Amali, Muhammad Khalifa, and Lars Ribbe

Water Productivity (WP), a pointer to crop performance vis-à-vis consumptive water use, has fevered debates around agricultural water use, away from scheme-based efficiency to field-scale productive value of water, that can be optimised in localities of increasing absolute and relative scarcity. Research on WP sprung from such debates to become a growth industry, that measures irrigation inefficiencies, poised towards developing economies and “low” value uses of water, to justify its reallocation across sectors, sometimes away from agriculture. While water allocation decisions increasingly prioritise sectoral productivity of freshwater resources, burgeoning food security measures to water scarcity adaptation is shifting management decisions from the purview of scheme managers to individual farming units, underscoring the need to parallel WP initiatives with the resilience of local livelihoods. In this study, we analyse the potential contribution of WP as an agricultural extensification mechanism for a water-scarce irrigated region. The Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL), is used to estimate evapotranspiration as a proxy for irrigated water consumption. An automated derivative, the pySEBAL model, is used to compute crop biomass combined with satellite-based evapotranspiration to estimate WP across 1680 heterogeneous groundwater irrigated fields in the eastern Azraq basin of Jordan. WP gap was hereafter estimated as the difference between the current field WP, to a selected productivity range, attainable within infrastructural and agroclimatic limits. By investigating the possibility of closing WP gaps, we show that a careful selection of WP thresholds to benchmark localised irrigated water consumption offers the potential to reduce seasonal irrigation water use within a range of 18 to 29% of the current consumption, without adversely affecting crop yield and related livelihoods. Such range (5 – 9 MCM[†]) for a water-scarce Azraq basin, offers substantial relief to groundwater resources, related ecosystems, and long-term catchment sustainability. We additionally demonstrate that this provides a window for agricultural extensification by leveraging farm management practices across irrigated fields. We finally propose entrepreneurial and capacity building opportunities from analysing dynamics in farmers' individual water use behaviour. WP, as a useful indicator for water reallocation under water-scarce conditions, would need to consider equitable utilisation of water resources and the resilience of local livelihoods.


[†] Million Cubic Meters

How to cite: Amali, A. A., Khalifa, M., and Ribbe, L.: Water Productivity; a Sustainable Pathway to Agricultural Extensification and Climate Adaptation?, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11026, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-11026, 2021.

16:17–17:00