Promoting resilience for food, energy, and water interdependencies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents relationships among food, energy, and water (FEW) systems, reflecting the interconnections among the energy/water, water/energy, water/food, and energy/food sectors. First, a unique approach uses metrics and quantification to reflect interdependencies among these sectors. Next, changes in food technology and practices are put forth in terms of impacts changes are likely to produce for a set of FEW system relationships. Organic farming or shifts in food consumption patterns, such as reduced meat consumption, are two examples of changes in food technology and practices that could affect water and energy use. From a policy perspective, changes in energy and water policy can potentially facilitate increased water conservation and greater use of renewable energy sources; such policy shifts are addressed in terms of changes to metrics and/or their values. The purpose of this work is to establish a network model that quantifies interdependencies among different sectors in terms of resource usage. The model is flexible and can accommodate other factors such as cyberphysical and logical interdependencies. The established model that these metrics provide inputs for enables analysis and design of the resilience mechanisms for FEW complex systems. Examples are used to illustrate the concepts developed in this work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-61
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Food-energy-water production tradeoffs
  • Infrastructure interdependencies
  • Network analysis
  • Organic agriculture
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Environmental Science


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