The world's energy, water, and land systems are in transition and rapidly integrating, driven by forces such as socioeconomic, demographic, climatic, and technological changes as well as policies intended to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other societal priorities. These dynamics weave across spatial scales, connecting global markets and trends to regional and sub-regional economies. At the same time, resources are often locally managed under varying administrative jurisdictions closely tied to inherent characteristics of each commodity such as river basins for water, grid regions for electricity and land-use boundaries for agriculture. Local decisions, in turn, are critical in deciding the aggregate success and consequences of national and global policies. Thus, there is a growing need to better characterise the energy-water-land nexus to guide robust and consistent decision making across these scales under changing climate.
This session aims to address this challenge for the energy-water-land nexus in nascent infrastructure planning and sectoral transitions. Contributions can include work dealing with applications of existing nexus approaches in sustainability assessment and design of future developments at different scales (i.e. urban to regional planning), as well as new methods that address existing gaps related to incorporating processes at different scales, bridging data gaps, improving optimisation approaches, or dealing with transboundary issues.
For example, the concepts of water footprint (WF) and water productivity (WP) are widely used in agricultural and industrial production. As a global resource, a wise management of water is not a national matter, it needs to be understood in a global context. To achieve SDGs, water management can be improved through smart consumption and trade of blue and green water resources in all water-related sectors across different scales (local to national to global) to sustain and enhance food and energy supply and manufacturing. Contributions that integratively apply WF and WP concepts in different sectors or scales to study scarcity, sustainability, security, and equity of limited water resources are also welcome.
We would like share with session participants and attendees this Focus Issue, of the same topic, in Environmental Research Letters that we are guest editing. Get in touch if you have queries about submission.
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