Co-management of Water, Energy, and Food Systems: Where Are We and What Does it Take for Implementation?

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Masih Akhbari, Colorado State University, Colorado Water Institute, Fort Collins, CO, United States; Riverside Technology Inc., Fort Collins, CO, United States
Water, energy, and food are closely bound in consumption and production patterns. To increase resource efficiency and productivity in a sustainable fashion, co-management of water, energy, and food resources is becoming inevitable. These co-management schemes require implementation of nexus-based approaches, which takes the interconnections of water, energy, and food systems into account and considers that development in one area may have major effects on others. While society, economy and environment are the action areas to implement a nexus approach, finance, governance, infrastructure and technology can create solutions. Existing obstacles in the action areas and challenges associated with creating solutions increase the complexities to develop nexus-based approaches and complicate their implementation. This study, identifies existing social, economic, and environmental obstacles, financial demands and constraints, shortcomings in governance, and infrastructure problems in the United States as the main challenges that need to be overcome. Then, it will be discussed how advanced technology could be employed to facilitate implementation of nexus-based approaches, followed by providing some recommendations to enable institutions to employ new technology, overcome existing obstacles, and address challenges in order to implement nexus-based management approaches.