Water integrity in the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus: solutions for water resources in a changing world
The Food-Energy-Water (FEW) nexus conceptualizes the interactions and tension between production and consumption of food, energy, and water. With increasing uncertainties due to climate change, there is a need to address these tensions within the nexus and better comprehend the existing interdependencies and tradeoffs. Water integrity – considering both water availability and quality – is of critical concern within the FEW nexus. Thus, it is important to develop robust decision-making strategies using a FEW nexus lens. This study focuses on addressing water integrity concerns through FEW nexus assessment using an agricultural watershed in northeastern Indiana, with predominantly corn-soybean rotations, as a pilot site. Historical and futuristic climate and hydrological data were used for hydrological modeling using SWAT to quantify water quantity, quality, and crop production. Scientific literature values for farm machinery fuel requirements and their carbon emissions were implemented to obtain values based on the implemented agronomic practices. Results of this study provide methodologies and information that can be implemented to evaluate water resources management, as well as inform policymaking for more sustainable agricultural management practices.
Collaborative Research: NRT-INFEWS: Sustainable Food, Energy, and Water Systems (SFEWS)
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