Using global model data to assess the Water-Energy-Food nexus under climate change

PhD research by Joreen Merks

Research Challenges

The water, energy and food sectors are strongly interrelated. An integral analysis is crucial to solve challenges within these sectors. Understanding these dynamics will become increasingly important as the pressure on our natural resources increase with population growth, socio-economic developments and climate change.

There is already a vast amount of literature and model data available on the separate sectors, however, quantitative cross-sectoral studies are still limited. Additionally, there is gap between the model data and the nexus indicators.

This project aims to utilize available global model data in assessing water-energy-food sector interactions.


This research will try to combine a demand driven and a supply driven approach to bridge the gap between global model data and indicators necessary to answer nexus questions.

    • A global multi-model assessment with ISIMIP model data to identify global nexus hot spots for potential conflict and opportunity.
    • Using a systematic literature review to identify current nexus indicators and methods.
    • Do case study analysis with a multi-sector multi-model analysis to test the regional application of global model data in a nexus study.

Expected results and conclusions

Within this research we want to gain insight into the possibilities of using global model data to answer water-energy-food nexus questions. We expect to link nexus indicators to the available model data. We expect to have global nexus hot spot maps based on multiple sectoral models and case study analysis for a regional context.