The water, energy, food, ecosystem nexus: complex dynamics, uncertainties and implications
Convener: Marianela Fader | Co-conveners: Rabi Mohtar, Daphne Gondhalekar, Floor Brouwer, Chrysaida-Aliki PapadopoulouECSECS

The water-energy-food-ecosystem nexus refers to the relationships or interdependencies of water use, energy production, food security and nature conservation. This concept is becoming more and more prominent, not only in research, but also in governmental programmes, initiatives of United Nations and even the private sector. One main objective of these programmes is assuring that measures in one particular sector do not negatively affect the functioning of the other sectors (i.e. holistic planning that increases synergies and avoids trade-offs). The key research question in this domain is: can we, as a global community, cover fundamental human needs without destroying the ecosystems we rely on?

This session invites contributions exploring this question and related issues, including nexus dynamics, trade-offs, synergies, management options, past trends, projections, uncertainties and behaviour as a complex system. Societal, economic and biophysical implications of “good” and “bad” implementation of nexus approaches (or lack of nexus consideration) are also welcome. The focus lies on large-scale assessments (global or continental scale) and on local/regional assessments including the city scale that are also relevant for other locations due to transferability of methods, representative character, relevance of knowledge acquired, or other aspects. Methodological characteristics are fully open, including but not restricted to modelling, remote sensing assessments, in-situ data analysis, and surveys.