Drs. Bryce Hannibal and Kent Portney recently published an article titled “Correlates of Food-Energy-Water Nexus Awareness Among the American Public” in Social Science Quarterly. Hannibal and Portney examine public awareness of the food-energy-water nexus and identify predictors explaining awareness and public interest.
The data used for the analysis comes from a nationally representative survey administered in 2015 in which respondents were asked twenty-nine questions intended to extract their potential awareness of food-energy-water nexus elements. The survey had a 61 percent response rate with 1,463 total responses. Drs. Hannibal and Portney treated respondents’ nexus awareness as the dependent variable for their study and focused on respondents’ educational attainment level, individual demographics, environmental concerns, and a series of other characteristics as explanatory variables.
Analysis of the responses suggests demographic characteristics show little relationship to overall nexus awareness. The study shows that people often make connections among food, energy, and water in the context of concerns about wasting these resources. Results also suggest that when the elements of the nexus are discussed in the context of wasting resources, people are able to identify stronger connections among resources and may make decisions supporting a more efficient and sustainable use of food, energy, and water. The authors conclude that researchers need to focus more on the food-energy-water nexus and on why some people exhibit greater awareness of the nexus than others do.
Hannibal, Bryce, and Kent Portney. 2019. “Correlates of Food-Energy-Water Nexus Awareness Among the American Public.” Social Sciences Quarterly 100 (3): 762–778. DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12590