Introduction: Human-Environmental Security in the Asia-Pacific Ring of Fire: Water-energy-food Nexus

  • Aiko Endo
Part of the Global Environmental Studies book series (GENVST)


The objectives of this project are to understand the complexity of the water-energy-food (WEF ) nexus system and to create scenarios and policy options to reduce trade-offs among resources and to alleviate conflicts of resource users using scientific evidence and under assumptions of uncertainty to maximize human-environmental security. Five different interdisciplinary approaches, scales and clusters will be used in this investigation: (1) the science in/for society; (2) the water-energy nexus; (3) the water-food (e.g., fisheries resources) nexus; (4) the stakeholder analysis; and (5) the interdisciplinary study.

A primary challenge of this nexus study is to analyse the interlinkages between groundwater and fisheries production, regarding the hypothesis that the flow of nutrients from land to ocean affects the coastal ecosystem. This suggests that water use for producing and/or consuming food and/or energy on land might affect fisheries production in coastal areas. To examine this theory, we address two primary objectives; (1) to understand the complexity of the water-energy-food (WEF ) nexus system since the relationships of all three resources are interrelated and interdependent; and (2) under scientific evidence and scientific uncertainty to create scenarios and policy options to solve the identified nexus problems, that is, to reduce the number of tradeoffs among three resources and to mitigate potential conflicts among these resource users through transdisciplinary approaches.


Water-energy-food (WEF) Nexus Geothermal energy Hydrothermal enrgy Hot spring Energy Hydropower generation Shale gas Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) Coastal ecosystem Stakeholder analysis, social network Scenario planning Integrated methods Interdisciplinary Transdisciplinary 


  1. Baba K, Takatsu H (2017) Examining the role of facilitator in online deliberation experiments; implications from the examples of social decision making process on use of renewable energy resource. In: Kazuyo Murata (eds) Considering Hanashiai (dialogue) by citizen participation. Hitsuji Shobo, pp 177–198. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  2. Baba K, Matsuura M, Taniguchi M (2015a) Effectiveness and challenges of stakeholder analysis in co-design and co-product of science and society: implications from a case study of identifying potential issues on utilization of groundwater resource in Obama. Environmental. Science 28(4):304–315. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  3. Baba K, Takatsu H, Kito M, Kawai Y, Noritake T, Masuhara N, Tanaka M (2015b) Examining harmonious coexistence of geothermal resource between small power generation and hot spring utilization by stakeholder analysis: a case study of Beppu. Environmental. Science 28(4):316–329. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  4. Baba K, Doi M, Tanaka M (2016) Development of narrative scenario for social implementation of climate change adaptation policy: an integration of community based (bottom-up) approach and Delphi method for experts (top-down) approach in the agricultural sector in Japan. Global Environmental Research 21(2):11–128. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  5. Endo A, Burnett K, Orencio P, Kumazawa T, Wada C, Ishii A, Tsurita I, Taniguchi M (2015a) Methods of the water-energy-food nexus. Water 7(10):5806–5830. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Endo T, Ishida K, Yoshitani J (2015b) Karifuoruniashu no chikasuikanri no douko- 2014 nen jizokutekichikasuikanriho wo chusin ni (the trend of groundwater management in California: focusing on the sustainable groundwater management act of 2014). Kasen 71(4):24–28. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  7. Fujii M, Tanabe S, Yamada M, Mishima T, Sawadate T, Ohsawa S (2017) Assessment of the potential for developing mini/micro hydropower: a case study in Beppu City, Japan. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 11:107–116Google Scholar
  8. Hata M, Sugimoto R, Hori M, Tomiyama T, Shoji J (2016) Occurrence, distribution, and prey items of juvenile marbled sole Pseudopleuronectes Yokohamae around a submarine groundwater seepage on a tidal flat in southwestern Japan. J Sea Res 111:47–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hoff H (2011) Understanding the Nexus. Background paper for the Bonn 2011 Conference: the water, energy and food security Nexus. Stockholm environment institute, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  10. Kimura M, Baba K and Masuhara N (2016) Visualization of social network that focuses on the common understanding of groundwater resources stakeholders in Obama City, Fukui prefecture, proceedings of 44th annual meeting of environmental systems research 2015, pp 87–92. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  11. Konikow LF (2013) Groundwater depletion in the United States (1900–2008): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013–5079, p 63.. Retrieved from
  12. Mori S (2016) Kyodozai yusuigyo itoyo kara miru fukkomachizukuri no katachi (evaluation of recovery and town development from the view point of local goods, freshwater three-spined sticklebacks). In: Taniguchi M (ed) Ground design for the future from Otsuchi. Kyoto, Showado, pp 71–95. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  13. Oh T, Tahara D (2017) Conservation of groundwater for local food in Azumino and Obama. In: Shoji J, Sugimoto R, Tominaga O (eds) Land-ocean interactions through groundwater/submarine groundwater and human society. Tokyo, Koseisyakoseikaku, pp 102–114. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  14. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2012) OECD environmental outlook to 2050: the consequences of inaction. OECD Publishing, Paris. Retrieved from Google Scholar
  15. Sawadate T (2017) Assessment of small hydropower generation potential considering characteristics in the Otsuchi town, Iwate prefecture. (Master’s Thesis). Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, p 33. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  16. Sugimoto R, Honda H, Kobayashi S, Takao Y, Tahara D, Tominaga O, Taniguchi M (2016) Seasonal changes in submarine groundwater discharge and associated nutrient transport into a tideless semi-enclosed embayment (Obama Bay, Japan). Estuar Coasts 39(1):13–26. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sugimoto R, Kitagawa K, Nishi S, Honda H, Yamada M, Kobayashi S, Tominaga O (2017) Phytoplankton primary productivity around submarine groundwater discharge in nearshore coasts. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 563:25–33. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (2003) United Nations World Water Development Report 2003: water for people, water for life. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  19. United States National Intelligence Council (2012) Global trends 2030: alternative worlds. US NIC, Washington, DC, p 137Google Scholar
  20. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (2016) United Nations World Water Development Report 2016: water and jobs. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  21. Utsunomiya T, Hata M, Sugimoto R, Honda H, Kobayashi S, Miyata Y et al (2017) Higher species richness and abundance of fish and benthic invertebrates around submarine groundwater discharge in Obama Bay, Japan. J Hydrol 11:139–146Google Scholar
  22. Van der Hel S (2016) New science for global sustainability? The institutionalization of knowledge co-production in future earth. Environ Sci Policy 61:165–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Veolia and Water North American & IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) (2015) The murky future of global water quality. A white paper. By Veolia & IFPRI.. Retrieved from Google Scholar
  24. World Economic Forum (2016) The global risks interconnections map. The Global Risks Report 2016Google Scholar
  25. Yamada M, Shoji J, Teramoto S, Ohsawa S, Mishima T, Sugimoto R, Honda H, Taniguchi M (2016) Exploration of submarine groundwater discharge using a drone in a coastal area of Hiji town, Oita prefecture, Japan in summer. Journal of Japanese Association of Hydrological Sciences 46(1):29–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Yamada M, Ohsawa S, Shoji J (2017a) Use of hot spring water and river ecosystem. In: Shoji J (ed) Land-Ocean interactions through groundwater/submarine groundwater: implication for human society. Japan, Kouseisha-kouseikaku, pp 115–126Google Scholar
  27. Yamada M, Shoji J, Ohsawa S, Mishima T, Hata M, Honda H, Fujii M, Taniguchi M (2017b) Hot spring drainage impact on fish communities around temperate estuaries in southwestern Japan. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 11:69–83Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute for Humanity and NatureKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations