• Applying the food–energy–water nexus concept at the local scale

      2021-05-13
      The food–energy–water (FEW) nexus describes interactions among domains that yield gains or trade-offs when analysed together rather than independently. In a project about renewable energy in rural Alaska communities, we applied this concept to examine the implications for sustainability and resilience. The FEW nexus provided a useful framework for identifying the cross-domain benefits of renewable energy, including gains in FEW security. However, other factors such as transportation and governance also play a major role in determining FEW security outcomes in rural Alaska. Here, we show the implications of our findings for theory and practice. The precise configurations of and relationships among FEW nexus components vary by place and time, and the range of factors involved further complicates the ability to develop a functional, systematic FEW model. Instead, we suggest how the FEW nexus may be applied conceptually to identify and understand cross-domain interactions that contribute to long-term sustainability and resilience.