2017 FEW Nexus Summit: Integrated Science, Engineering, and Policy: a Multi Stakeholder Dialogue
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FEW Nexus Workshop on Integrated Science, Engineering, and Policy: A Multi Stakeholder Dialogue Part 1: Non-Technical Description. The growing demands for energy and food make clear the necessity of better management of our limited food, energy, and water (FEW) resources. Competition for water continues to grow among agriculture, energy production, domestic and industrial uses, leading to water shortages and tradeoffs that have to be addressed. While water deficits can be partially met through wastewater reuse and desalination plants, these methods and their technologies carry unclear threats to the quality and health of our soils, wherein 30 percent of global freshwater is stored. Integrated resources management is an essential tool for these tightly interconnected, essential resources: their interlinkages (the FEW Nexus) must be defined and quantified to enable a holistic understanding of the tradeoffs resulting from different choices about their management and use. This workshop will improve the level of integration of future research, foster national research teams, and build on the investments made toward the creation of a Food-Energy-Water community of science. It will bring together leading stakeholders in the FEW resources Nexus with faculty in science, engineering, and policy disciplines to help identify systems-level conflicts among alternative uses and provide input on the research agenda of the FEW Nexus community. This will help foster new cooperation among science and engineering disciplines for more sustainable management of FEW resources at local, national and international levels to address societal challenges. Part 2: Technical Description. The overall workshop goal is the consolidation of a FEW Nexus Community of Science and creation of a national platform for FEW nexus biophysical, social and policy research to address key challenges in the context of the FEW Nexus. Among the primary workshop outcomes will be the identification of new research and data collection approaches to enhance longitudinal research to model and monitor the processes associated with resilience, vulnerability, and risk reduction. Working groups in the nexus dimensions will establish synergistic research teams to develop joint FEW research proposals for submission to national and international funding agencies. These groups will develop a common Nexus roadmap of science, policy, technology, and education issues critical to the sustainable management of FEW resources. Such a road map is essential for the proper planning and understanding of the tradeoffs among FEW resources. This road map will be developed through an accessible e-portal that is designed to facilitate future engagement with stakeholders and translate knowledge into action. It will also become the foundation of further investigations by providing insight toward new knowledge generated as a result of its implementation. The FEW Nexus community of science will provide a platform from which the Nexus community will share and exchange ideas, draw on international, national, and local FEW nexus efforts, and facilitate the exchange of ideas and development of partnerships for sharing data and information. This will lay the foundation for future FEW Nexus research and allow public, private and scientific sector stakeholders to participate in research to inform decision and policy making.