Chapter 17: Leveraging the water-energy-food security nexus with a complex adaptive systems approach
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A variety of methods have been used to study the water, energy and food nexus (WEF) nexus, but application of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) approaches are limited. A CAS lens focuses on temporality including interactions and adaptations. Using key concepts of CAS, resource security is presented as an emergent property resulting from component interactions governed by physical laws, policies, and institutions. The WEF nexus can be conceived as a set of interacting goal-seeking structures that determine emergent behaviour, and components and information links constituting feedback structures can allow for steering the system to achieve goals. The case of Pakistan, with food, water, and energy (WEF) security linked through irrigation-based agriculture and large rural population is discussed. Missing components for monitoring, reporting, and information links threaten its long-term WEF security. Such a configuration may inhibit adaptation at necessary pace, and that poses grave threats to WEF security with unfolding climate change.

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