Optimization-Based Systems Modeling for the Food-Energy-Water Nexus

Charalampos Avraam, Ying Zhang, Sriram Sankaranarayanan, Benjamin Zaitchik, Emma Moynihan, Prathibha Juturu, Roni Neff, Sauleh Siddiqui

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review:: Optimization-based methods for the food-energy-water nexus can assist decision-making on critical infrastructure but are limited in scope and applicability. We provide an overview of optimization-based systems modeling techniques for operations researchers and systems modelers for the nexus. Recent Findings:: We find that the literature has contributed to the understanding of nexus interdependencies and has provided a framework for sustainability studies. We observe that the majority of the papers expand bottom-up models for one or two nexus components into the three, which may lead to asymmetric representation of the three sectors. Socioeconomic and political economy drivers are often exogenous to the models. Summary:: The vast majority of papers can be further enhanced to account for local priorities, and the underlying decision-making process of stakeholders across the supply chains and at the interdependencies. Greater regional downscaling and technological detail along with more robust data could also enhance nexus systems modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-16
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Economic modeling
  • Food-energy-water nexus
  • Optimization
  • Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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