The Water-Energy-Food Nexus
Social and Public Policy Dimensions
About the Project
The WEF nexus is critical to understanding the economic, social, scientific, and technological tradeoffs created by climate change, environmental degradation, population growth, and demographic pressures. The nexus is about how water, energy, and food are interconnected. Energy cannot be produced without impacting water. Water cannot be extracted, consumed, treated, or otherwise used without the input of energy. Food cannot be grown without the use of water and energy.
In 2015, ISTPP began a commitment to bridge the gap between science and policy by conducting ongoing research into the public’s and stakeholders’ understanding of water-energy-food issues. In August 2015, the Institute completed the first-of-its-kind national public opinion survey dedicated to understanding the public’s views on nexus issues. Results of this project are providing important insights into the public’s comprehension, attitudes, risk profiles, and policy preferences related to the nexus. The initial NEXUS survey can be viewed online here.
Since initiating research on the water-energy-food nexus in 2015, ISTPP has led several large-scale interdisciplinary research projects related to the social and public policy dimensions of the water-energy-food nexus. These projects have expanded the research team’s understanding of how the public perceives natural resources and governments regulate each entity. The research has yielded many publications and conference papers.