The food-energy-water nexus: Transforming science for society

Bridget R. Scanlon, Ben L. Ruddell, Patrick M. Reed, Ruth I. Hook, Chunmiao Zheng, Vince C. Tidwell, Stefan Siebert

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

184 Scopus citations


Emerging interdisciplinary science efforts are providing new understanding of the interdependence of food, energy, and water (FEW) systems. These science advances, in turn, provide critical information for coordinated management to improve the affordability, reliability, and environmental sustainability of FEW systems. Here we describe the current state of the FEW nexus and approaches to managing resource conflicts through reducing demand and increasing supplies, storage, and transport. Despite significant advances within the past decade, there are still many challenges for the scientific community. Key challenges are the need for interdisciplinary science related to the FEW nexus; ground-based monitoring and modeling at local-to-regional scales; incorporating human and institutional behavior in models; partnerships among universities, industry, and government to develop policy relevant data; and systems modeling to evaluate trade-offs associated with FEW decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3550-3556
Number of pages7
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • food energy water nexus
  • food scarcity
  • food security
  • water energy nexus
  • water scarcity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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