Mesoscale Data Fusion to Map and Model the U.S. Food-Energy-Water system (INFEWSion)

Authors: Christopher Lant*, Utah State University, Benjamin Ruddell, Northern Arizona University
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Agricultural Geography
Keywords: food-energy-water system, United States, virtual water
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Napoleon A1, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Food, Energy, and Water (FEW) nexus is a dynamic, coupled natural-human system manifesting at the mesoscale, in which interregional trade, river basins and aquifers, irrigation districts, crop belts, states, tribes, and cities, power grids, climate gradients, and seasonal timescales interact.

This presentation will outline the NSF-funded interdisciplinary, multi-institution $3 million project that will construct the first comprehensive empirical map of the U.S. Food, Energy, and Water system (the INFEWSion v1.0-US database). This database will be exploited to achieve four science and modeling objectives: 1) quantify the tradeoffs between the multiple
objectives of performance and sustainability using several metrics, (2) analyze historical
sensitivity, vulnerability, resilience, and evolution of the FEW network with attribution
to observed stresses and shocks, (3) establish the role of the growth of cities within the
FEW system, and (4) execute a standards-based benchmarking assessment of INFEWS program Modeling and Solutions track projects. Conceptually innovative, this project will establish a forward leap in systems-level synthetic understanding of the FEW nexus.

Dissemination and engagement will involve partnerships with national institutions such as The Nature Conservancy, The Water Footprint Network, the Sustainable Cities Network, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Geological Survey, and America’s Water project. This public visualization will provide interactive (and for the first time, locationally explicit) guidance on how a county or city can enhance benefits, reduce impacts and vulnerability and solidify resilience profiles by changing food-energy-water consumption patterns.

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