Existing assessment and decision support tools have limited application to real-world food-energy-water (FEW) Nexus challenges. Integrated assessment approaches are often discipline-specific or highly theoretical, lacking grounding in real-world FEW issues.
FEW systems require application of integrated techniques that address multiple attributes of trade-off analyses, dynamic and disparate datasets, and difficult decision contexts. Research must enable: appropriate tool sets matched with FEW Nexus hotspots; customizing existing tools to fit local specifics; compatibility between collected data and integrative nexus assessment tool needs; evaluation of these assessments through incorporation of stakeholder input and guidance forward for solution implementation.
The core challenge is identification and design of a set of strategies that are robust under various future conditions (scenarios). Successful strategies must address natural, technological, and human system settings. Approaches that clarify the range of beneficial and potentially adverse trade-offs will support the identification of decisions and intervention options.