Water Resources Management

, Volume 31, Issue 15, pp 4971–4980 | Cite as

Water-Food-Energy: Nexus and Non-Nexus Approaches for Optimal Cropping Pattern



Given the water-food-energy interconnections, integrated planning, policy and management using the nexus approach are required for the food production system. In this study the nexus and non-nexus approaches are compared to propose an optimal cropping patternthat considers water, energy and economic parameters. Linear optimization was applied to compare i) the nexus approach utilizing an objective function to maximize a water-food-energy nexus index and 2) the non-nexus approach utilizing three objective functions for water use, energy use, and agricultural net return. The study showed that the nexus approach is the best. Applying it through a water-food-energy nexus index provides a holistic method for identifying an optimal cropping pattern that reduces water and energy consumption and increases the agricultural net return.


Nexus index Multi-objective optimization Minimizes water use Minimize energy use Cropping pattern 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Strategic Research Unit, National Water Research CenterCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado Water Resources Research InstituteColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.Colorado Water InstituteColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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