Workshop B1: Capturing complex Interdependencies through Modelling
Chaired by Jiagou Qi
Presenting speakers :
As an integrated management paradigm, WEF Nexus as an integrated management paradigm highlights the three aspects of a) intersectorality of resource use issues, b) interdependence and interdisciplinarity of management decisions and c) interactionality of impacts of resources allocations. In doing so, it builds on arguments from precursor concepts especially in the 1990s. Yet, the Nexus integrative approach stresses all three mentioned aspects while previous integrated management approaches were sector-focused framings and understood integration mainly in regard to subsectors and disciplines.
Nexus has evolved as an important integrated management paradigm, although there is no uniform way to understand integration under the Nexus. This paper examined 32 key Nexus literature to categorize views on two key questions: How should the ‘process of integration’ look like, i.e. which links should be examined and at which stage of the management value chain?; and, second, how should the ‘state or view of integration’ look like, i.e. in which institutions and by which actors? As a result, the paper presents three key understandings of issue integration under the Nexus: integration as incorporation, integration as cross-linking and integration as assimilation.
Finally, this paper evaluates the perception of scientists on the usefulness of the Nexus according to different categories. The overall conclusion of this evaluation is that WEF Nexus has been able to change current policy debates. At the same time, scientists hold different views on the essence of the novelty of the WEF Nexus and criticize the absence of a clear implementation roadmap or recommendations on institutional and participatory arrangements to integrate WEF Nexus into current environmental governance frameworks.
The aim of this research activity is to evaluate the impacts of different dynamic phenomena such as crop, market conditions and water availability/accessibility, both on water and energy consumption at local scale. The case study is Capitanata (North Apulia region), a semi-arid area affected by significant problems of water scarcity, characterized by a high agricultural vocation and by intensive crops cultivations. It is one of the richest agricultural districts in Italy, with a total area of 455,000 ha. A consortium manages approximately 150,000 ha, but about 126,000 ha are currently served. A conceptual model is being developed, in order to analyze different dimensions of the water–energy-food nexus (WEFN). Water Footprint (WF) is assumed as an indicator of water consumption. The model is constituted by three main sub-models related to “food”, “water”, “energy”, strictly connected each other and aims to evaluate the water and energy consumption associated to industrial tomatoes production in the period between 2000 and 2011. It will allow, also to evaluate the socio-economic effects in a perspective of water and energy consumption reduction through a system dynamic modelling techniques.
Objective of the first research phase was therefore the development of a systematic understanding of the multiple scales, perspectives and surrounding conditions that frame the “FEW nexus security challenge”. The derived framework is multi-dimensional and integrates the FEW nexus across the three levels of (a) natural system boundaries, (b) socio-economic system boundaries, and (c) political system boundaries. On the socio-economic level, FEW nexus security implies that food, energy, and water security are evenhandedly pursued with the objective to ‘provide all people, at all times, not only adequate physical but also economic access’ to these resources. This, however, implies accounting for not only regional specificities but also trans-national or even global effects. The socio-economic sub-system thus in itself constitutes a complex system that methodically requires a multi-objective optimization. Further complexity emerges from the multiple scale gaps inherent in FEW nexus management: Natural resources – including water, (arable) land or fossil resources – are limited and geographically unevenly distributed (i.e., the natural system boundaries). At the same time both the demand intensities as well as the (negative) externalities related to the growing demand for these resources are globally also unevenly allocated and inequitably distributed (i.e., the socio-economic system boundaries). Yet, governance strategies for the management of these resources are often developed based on national (political) rather than geographical system boundaries (i.e., the political system boundaries).
In order to operationalize an integrated assessment of these multi-dimensional challenges, the developed conceptualization is translated into a modular, stakeholder-based modelling framework which describes a model-based definition of FEW nexus security. Following the UNEP procedure for indicator identification , for each module the following issues will be addressed in a systematic stakeholder process: (a) identification of potential issues and concerns, (b) assessment of each issue and how it relates to the natural environment, (c) analysis of underlying causes and interlinkages, and (d) analysis of impacts on society, economy and environment. The final step of each module-specific stakeholder process consists in determining the adequate methodical tools for assessment based on the identified indicators, as well as their requirements for integration into the comprehensive integrated assessment framework.
This study uses the multi-model approach of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP) to build up a consistent set of global water scenarios based on Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) and Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) for the IIASA Water Futures and Solutions Initiative (WFaS). The WFaS “fast-track” assessment applies three water scenarios based on feasible combinations of two different RCPs and three SSPs, then five different hydrological models are used to estimate water availability and three water use models to estimate water demand from different sectors. Results are shown as indicators for e.g. water stress and water dependency between countries for present time and for future projections up to 2050. The alterations to previous studies are the multi-model approach and the finer temporal monthly scale, showing the temporal and spatial diversity of water demand and availability.
One example scenario is based on the combination of SSP2 and RCP6.0. While in 2010 17 countries out of 249 facing severe water stress on an annual basis, the number is likely to increase up to 26 countries by 2050. Looking at the monthly time dimension 51 countries with altogether 3.8 billion people are under severe water stress in at least one month in 2010. This will rise up to 57 countries and 4.9 billion people by 2050. Main driver of this development will be the rising water demand of a growing population and to a lesser extend the changing distribution of water availability. Model biases are inevitable in meteorology and hydrology, therefore we use a multi-model approach for greater confidence in model results and to estimate uncertainties due to scenario and model bias. This study also shows the variability across the scenarios and models.
Target audience: We invite interested participants from all disciplines and at all career stages specially early stage PhD student and postdocs.
Date and time: Jun 15th, 15:45 – 17:30
Location: ZUK, Osnabrück, Room 2
- Jiagou Qi