A Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approach for Conducting Trade-off Analysis: Moroccos Phosphate Industry in the Khouribga Region Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • Abstract. The aim of the study is to apply the Nexus approach for conducting trade-off analysis between industrial and agricultural area, thus we developed Water-Energy-Food Nexus-Phosphate (WEF-P) Tool based on integrating the supply chain processes, transportation, and water-energy footprints. This study evaluated the impact of phosphate industry on regional water, energy, and food in Khouribga, the representative phosphate mining area of Morocco using the developed WEF-P Tool. To address the potential impacts on the water supply in agricultural areas, the field data of processes (from mining to transportation) were collected and applied to possible supply chain scenarios according to type of product (phosphate rock, slurry). Analysis of positive impacts of dynamic management suggest seasonal management of phosphate production to allow less phosphate production during the irrigation season (increasing available water for agriculture) and greater phosphate production during wetter seasons (when water demand for agricultural production is less). Additionally, the transport of raw phosphate as slurry through a pipeline increases the total water required to 34.6 millionm3. This is a 76% increase over the business as usual scenario (BAU)). The shift to slurry also produces an energy savings of nearly 80% over BAU, which requires 204.0 million litre of fossil fuel, as compared to only 40.5 million litre needed for slurry transport. During May to July, the dry or water scarce season when irrigation is needed, total ground water use decreased from 5.8 to 5.2 millionm3. Dynamic management of the phosphate industry can also save 143MWh of electricity annually, accompanied with a reduction of 117 tons of CO2 emissions. In a changing climate, making water available at the right time and place requires analysis of complex scientific, technical, socio-economical, regulatory, and political issues. The WEF-P Tool can be used to assess user-created scenarios, offering a management-decision aid to effectively ensure more sustainable management of limited resources and increased reliability of water resources for both agricultural and industrial use. This study on the application of WEF Nexus to the Phosphate industry can be a roadmap for other industrial application where trade-offs between the primary resources exist.

altmetric score

  • 1.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, S., Assi, A. T., Daher, B. T., Mengoub, F. E., & Mohtar, R. H.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Lee, Sang-Hyun||Assi, Amjad T||Daher, Bassel T||Mengoub, Fatima E||Mohtar, Rabi H

Book Title

  • EGUsphere

publication date

  • May 2020