EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Multi-sector assessment and design for large scale water-energy-food-environment systems in Africa

Julien Harou1, Mohammed Basheer1, Mikiyas Etichia1, Jose Gonzalez Cabrera1, Mathaios Panteli2, and Alvaro Calzadilla3
Julien Harou et al.
  • 1Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK (
  • 2Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • 3Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London, London, UK

Interdependencies between resource systems are projected to increasingly complicate efforts to develop individual water, energy, food and environment sectors and set their growth policies. Given the urgent need to mitigate climate change, investments in energy and water supply security are being co-driven by financial and international political incentives to decarbonize, and so the scrutiny of plans to modify interconnected resource systems will continue to increase. Additionally, given multiple government needs and priorities, economic, environment and social dimensions should be explicitly considered in the prioritisation of new interventions, whether they be new policies or new infrastructure. This talk considers two river basins in Africa, the Nile river basin and the Volta river basin. It describes efforts of the ‘Future Design and Assessment of water-energy-food-environment Mega-Systems’ (FutureDAMS) project to understand and recommend new interventions in these systems at country or multi-country scale. To this end four technical pillars were needed: credible and computationally efficient large-scale simulation of individual sectors, a multi-agent software integration framework that connects disciplinary models at run time, an efficient search technology to sift through large intervention spaces given multiple objectives and multiple uncertainties including climate change, and stakeholder facing tools and outputs. The talk reviews in detail two areas of model building and their application: linking river basin and economic analysis and linking river basins and regional power grids for joint intervention assessment. The talk will discuss which issues most complicated modelling, what solutions were found, and how future research might improve upon them to generate more useful understanding and decision-support for multi-sector human-natural systems.

How to cite: Harou, J., Basheer, M., Etichia, M., Gonzalez Cabrera, J., Panteli, M., and Calzadilla, A.: Multi-sector assessment and design for large scale water-energy-food-environment systems in Africa, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16263,, 2023.