16 December 2014

The short case study presented in this paper explains a publicly available and evolving water–energy–food nexus tool and showcases a sample analysis conducted in Qatar.


Professor Rabi H Mohtar

TEES Endowed Professor, Texas A&M University

Bassel Daher

Research Associate, Texas A&M University


Water, energy, and food are interrelated systems which face numerous challenges including a growing global population, economic crises, poverty and hunger, and climatic uncertainties. Meeting these challenges requires a paradigm shift and a better understanding of how these three resources form a nexus, with quantifiable interconnections. These developments also need to be incorporated into decision-making processes.

In working towards this goal, the authors discuss the WEF Nexus Tool 2.0© which aims to support decision-makers in identifying sustainable resource management strategies informed by the water-energy-food nexus. This short case study highlights the tool’s application to a sample analysis for Qatar. 

Qatar currently imports more than 90 per cent of its food, and the government’s stated aim is to bring the country as close to food self-sufficiency as possible by 2023. The model’s results show that, on the basis of current food production practices and technologies, increasing national production by 25 per cent in just eight food products would be unachievable or undesirable in terms of water, energy, land and financial requirements, as well as resulting Co2 emissions.