Sustainable energy, water and food nexus systems: A focused review of decision-making tools for efficient resource management and governance

Sarah Namany, Tareq Al-Ansari, Rajesh Govindan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

12 Citations (Scopus)


Rapid population growth and increased urbanisation have contributed towards increased pressures on global energy, water and food (EWF) resource systems. Therefore, there is an imperative need for resilient and effective resource management that considers societal, environmental and economic components of sustainable development. In this regard, adopting a EWF Nexus approach that considers the interactions between sectors is fundamental. However, it requires the additional mobilisation of particular decision-making tools in order to completely address the question of resource utilisation. In fact, well-studied decision-making methodologies are necessary to sustain resources, address multi-scale challenges and ensure robust governance of EWF Nexus systems. This study highlights the current literature regarding the modelling approaches used for dynamic decision-making within the EWF Nexus focusing on mathematical optimisation, agent-based modelling and game theory. These algorithmic frameworks serve as strategic guidelines for policy makers and encourage effective decision-making related to maximising targets and minimising environmental burdens. Outcomes of this study demonstrate the complementary relationships that exist between the decision-making models highlighted, and how together with a EWF Nexus approach can be used for integrated resource management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-626
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2019



  • Agent-based modelling
  • Decision making
  • Game theory
  • nexus
  • Optimisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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