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A Review of the Current State of Research on the Water, Energy, and Food Nexus


  • Aiko Endo

    () (Research Department, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature)

  • Izumi Tsurita

    () (Department of Cultural Anthropology, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo)

  • Kimberly Burnett

    () (University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

  • Pedcris M. Orencio

    () (Catholic Relief Service Philippines (Manila Office) Urban Disaster Risk Reduction Department)


1. Study region Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America, South America, Middle East and Africa. 2. Study focus The purpose of this paper is to review and analyze the water, energy, and food nexus and regions of study, nexus keywords and stakeholders in order to understand the current state of nexus research. 3. New hydrological insights Through selected 37 projects, four types of nexus research were identified including water-food, water-energy-food, water-energy, and climate related. Among them, six projects (16%) had a close linkage with water-food, 11 (30%) with water-energy-food, 12 (32%) with water-energy, and eight (22%) with climate. The regions were divided into Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America, South America, Middle East and Africa. North America and Oceania had a tendency to focus on a specific nexus type, water-energy (46%) and climate (43%), while Africa had less focus on water-energy (7%). Regarding keywords, out of 37 nexus projects, 16 projects listed keywords in their articles. There were 84 keywords in total, which were categorized by the author team depending on its relevance to water, food, energy, climate, and combination of water-food-energy-climate, and 40 out of 84 keywords were linked with water and only 4 were linked with climate. As for stakeholders, 77 out of 137 organizations were related to research and only two organizations had a role in media.

Suggested Citation

  • Aiko Endo & Izumi Tsurita & Kimberly Burnett & Pedcris M. Orencio, 2016. "A Review of the Current State of Research on the Water, Energy, and Food Nexus," Working Papers 2016-7, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
  • Handle: RePEc:hae:wpaper:2016-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mushtaq, Shahbaz & Maraseni, Tek Narayan & Maroulis, Jerry & Hafeez, Mohsin, 2009. "Energy and water tradeoffs in enhancing food security: A selective international assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3635-3644, September.
    2. Bazilian, Morgan & Rogner, Holger & Howells, Mark & Hermann, Sebastian & Arent, Douglas & Gielen, Dolf & Steduto, Pasquale & Mueller, Alexander & Komor, Paul & Tol, Richard S.J. & Yumkella, Kandeh K., 2011. "Considering the energy, water and food nexus: Towards an integrated modelling approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 7896-7906.
    3. Yang, Hong & Zhou, Yuan & Liu, Junguo, 2009. "Land and water requirements of biofuel and implications for food supply and the environment in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1876-1885, May.
    4. Esther Velázquez & Cristina Madrid & María Beltrán, 2011. "Rethinking the Concepts of Virtual Water and Water Footprint in Relation to the Production–Consumption Binomial and the Water–Energy Nexus," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 25(2), pages 743-761, January.
    5. Qadir, M. & Sharma, B.R. & Bruggeman, A. & Choukr-Allah, R. & Karajeh, F., 2007. "Non-conventional water resources and opportunities for water augmentation to achieve food security in water scarce countries," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 2-22, January.
    6. Ackerman, Frank & Fisher, Jeremy, 2013. "Is there a water–energy nexus in electricity generation? Long-term scenarios for the western United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 235-241.
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    Cited by:

    1. Berga, Helen & Ringler, Claudia & Bryan, Elizabeth & El Didi, Hagar & Elnasikh, Sara, 2017. "Addressing transboundary cooperation in the Eastern Nile through the Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Insights from an E-survey and key informant interviews," IFPRI discussion papers 1655, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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    nexus type; nexus region; nexus keywords; nexus stakeholders;

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