Identifying the Factors Affecting the Optimal Management of Resources Using Nexus Approach in the Agricultural Section

Document Type : Research Article


1 PhD Candidate, University of Tehran

2 University of Tehran

3 Associate Professor, School of Environment, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, IRAN


Water, food and energy are the main resources needed for the development of communities. The nexus view emphasizes the interconnected management of these resources and has been applied with a focus on three sources at the macro level. In this research, evaluation and prioritization of effective factors and methods of optimal resource allocation based on the nexus approach of water, energy and food production with the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) in Alborz province has been considered. For this purpose, the criteria were compared in pairs in a hierarchical analysis with the opinions of experts and their importance was determined. Criteria including water, food and energy were considered. Factors affecting the optimal allocation of resources in Alborz province were determined and presented as multiple choice and compared in pairs based on questionnaires completed by experts. The results showed that the water criterion with the relative weight of 61.4% has the greatest impact on the evaluation process compared to other criteria and the energy and food criteria with the relative weight of 26.2% and 12.4% have the most impact, respectively. Among the developed strategies, education and awareness raising with a score of 35.9% was ranked first, and environmental policy with a score of 26.6% was ranked second. Therefore, it is suggested that strategies for education and promotion of awareness and environmental policy be given priority.


[1]. Dai J, Wu S, Han G, Weinberg J, Xie X, Wu X, et al. Water-Energy Nexus: A Review of Methods and Tools for Macro-Assessment. Applied Energy. 2017;811:393–818.
[2]. Saladini F, Betti G, Ferragina E, Bouraoui F, Cupertino S, Canitano G, et al. Linking the Water-Energy-Food Nexus and Sustainable Development Indicators for the Mediterranean Region. Ecological Indicators. 2018;91: 889–892.
[3]. Hoff H. Understanding the nexus. Background paper for the Bonn 2011 Conference: the water, energy and food security nexus. Stockholm Environment Institute. Stockholm. 2011.
[4]. Cai X, Wallington K, Shafiee-Jood M, Marston L. Understanding and Managing The Food-Energy-Water Nexus – Opportunities for Water Resources Research, Advances in Water Resources. 2018;111:859–823.
[5]. Bizikova L, Roy D, Venema HD, McCandless M, Swanson D, Khachtryan A., et al. Water-Energy-Food Nexus and Agricultural Investment: A Sustainable Development Guidebook. International Institute for Sustainable Development. 2014.
[6]. Sharifi Moghaddam A, Sadeghi H. Application of water-energy-food correlation in water resources management. National Conference on Water Resources Management Strategies and Environmental Challenges. Sari. 2018;1. [In Persian]
[7]. Jia Z, Cai Y, Chen Y, Zeng W. Regionalization of water environmental carrying Capacity for supporting the sustainable water resources management and development in China. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 2018;134:282–293.
[8]. Hou X, Lv T, Xu J, Deng X, Liu F, Pi D. Energy sustainability evaluation of 30 Provinces in China using the improved entropy weight-cloud model. Ecological Indicators. 2021;126:107657.
[9]. Nadaraja D, Lu C, Islam MM. The Sustainability Assessment of Plantation Agriculture—A Systematic Review of Sustainability Indicators. Sustainable Production and Consumption. 2021;26:892–910.
[10]. Cansino-Loeza B, S´anchez-Zarco XG, Mora-Jacobo EG, Saggiante-Mauro FE, Gonz´alez-Bravo R, Mahlknecht J, et al. Systematic Approach for Assessing the Water–Energy–Food Nexus for Sustainable Development in Regions with Resource Scarcities. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. 2020;8(36):13734–13748.
[11]. Guerra JBSO, de A, Berchin II, Garcia J, Neiva S, da S, et al. A literature-based study on the water–energy–food nexus for sustainable development. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment. 2021;35(1),95–116.
[12]. Basheer M, Elagib NA. Sensitivity of Water-Energy Nexus to dam operation: A Water-Energy Productivity concept. Science of the Total Environment. 2018;616–617:918–926.
[13]. Dale AT, Bilec MM. The Regional Energy & Water Supply Scenarios (REWSS) Model, Part II: Case studies in Pennsylvania and Arizona. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments. 2014;7:237–746.
[14]. Grafton RQ, Williams J, Jiang Q. Food and water gaps to 2050: preliminary results from the global food and water system (GFWS) platform. Food Security. 2015;7:209–220.
[15]. Blanco M, Van Doorslaer B, Britz W. Assessing Agriculture-water Relationships: a Pan-European Multidimensional Modelling Approach. 126th Seminar, European Association of Agricultural Economists, Italy. 2012. 126th Seminar, June 27-29, 2012, Capri, Italy from European Association of Agricultural Economists.
[16]. Liu J, Williams JR, Zehnder AJB, Yang H. GEPIC–modelling wheat yield and crop water productivity with high resolution on a global scale. Agricultural Systems. 2007;94:478–493.
[17]. Amarasinghe U. PODIUMSIM: CPSP Report10 Country Policy Support Program. International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage. New Delhi: India; 2005.
[18]. Lawford R, Bogardi J, Marx S, Jain S, Pahl Wostl C, Knuppe K, et al. Basin perspectives on the Water–Energy–Food Security Nexus. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 2013;5(6):607-616.
[19]. Li G, Huang D, Sun C, Li Y. Developing interpretive structural modeling based on factor analysis for the water-energy-food nexus conundrum. Science of the Total Environment. 2019;651(1):309-322.
[20]. Nhamo L, Mabhaudhi T, Mpandeli S, Dickens C, Nhemachen C, Senzanje A, et al. An integrative analytical model for the water-energy-food nexus: South Africa case study Environmental Science and Policy. 2020;109:15–24.
[21]. Naidoo D, Nhamo L, Mpandeli S, Sobratee N, Senzanje A, Liphadzi S, et al. Operationalising the water-energy-food nexus through the theory of change. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2021;149:111416.
[22]. Namany S, Govindan R, Martino MD, Pistikopoulos EN, Linke P, Avraamidou S, et al. An Energy-Water-Food Nexus-based Decision-making Framework to Guide National Priorities in Qatar.Sustainable Cities and Society. 2021;75:103342.
[23]. Winters ZS, Crisman Thomas L, Dumke David T. Sustainability of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Caribbean Small Island Developing States. Water. 2022;14:322.
[24]. Shahmohammadi A. Assessing and explaining the status of water, energy and food linkages in Varamin plain Analysis of amplifications and exchanges under different climatic and agricultural scenarios. PhD Thesis, Shahid Beheshti University, Research Institute of Environmental Sciences. 2018. [In Persian]
[25]. Ashuri V. Assess the status of the irrigation network with the approach of water, energy and food link index. Master Thesis, Department of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, University of Tehran, Abu Reihan Campus. 2020. [In Persian]
[26]. Radmehr R. Evaluating the role of water, energy and food linkage in groundwater resources management using multiple factor model in Neishabour plain. PhD Thesis, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. 2021. [In Persian]
Volume 8, Issue 4
January 2022
Pages 1099-1111
  • Receive Date: 06 November 2021
  • Revise Date: 20 February 2022
  • Accept Date: 20 February 2022
  • First Publish Date: 20 February 2022
  • Publish Date: 22 December 2021