16 Developing Integrated Information Systems for Improved Management of the Water–Energy–Food (W–E–F) Nexus

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Richard Lawford, Morgan State Univ., Baltimore, MD

In 2015, Future Earth launched its Water-Energy-Food (W-E-F) Nexus cluster project to explore how improved governance and integrated information systems could strengthen sustainability in the W-E-F Nexus. Workshops were held in four regions of the world (North America, Europe, Eastern Asia, and Southern Africa) which facilitated a better understanding of the current role of information and Earth observations in decision-making within the W-E-F Nexus.

Although the regional differences arising from climate, geomorphology, existing infrastructure and socio-economic policies are large, there are a number of similarities in the requirements for data and information across these regions. This presentation outlines some factors that would enhance the application of Earth observations to managing the W-E-F Nexus, including a rigorous widely accepted definition of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus and agreements that all important data types for the W-E-F Nexus are available on the scales, frequencies, and accuracies needed to support better decision-making. It would also promote the gathering, analysis and use of Earth observations and other data to facilitate the elimination of the sectoral silos in which decisions are usually made. Earth observations are also beneficial for monitoring the trends in critical factors that are stressing the availability of suitable water, energy and food resources such as land ownership and land use issues, climate change, and environmental degradation. The presentation will conclude with suggestions for pilot projects for validating Earth observations and related models, and for developing integrated information systems that will support W-E-F decision-making on a quasi-operational basis.

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