Resilience Meets the Water–Energy–Food Nexus: Mapping the Research Landscape

The importance of resilience thinking is increasing with the increase in challenges of the 21st century. A review of past literature suggested that water, energy, and food systems are all linked together and can contribute effectively to these current increasing pressures, which further demanded a need to understand and manage the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus simultaneously. Therefore, this paper reviewed recent scientific papers dealing with both nexus and resilience contexts to (a) examine the status quo of resilience thinking as it is applied in WEF nexus studies; (b) map the research landscape along with major research foci and conceptualizations; and (c) propose a research agenda, by distilling recommendations and knowledge gaps from the reviewed publications. Results identified five research avenues; (a) improving the understanding of resilience across the WEF nexus; (b) developing tools and indicators to measure and assess the resilience of WEF systems; (c) bridging the implementation gap brought about by (governing) complexity; (d) integrating resilience and nexus thinking; and (e) considering other development principles and frameworks toward solving WEF challenges beside and beyond resilience, including control, efficiency, sustainability, and equity.

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