Abstract for: System Archetypes in the Conceptualization Phase of Water-Energy-Food Nexus Modeling

Water, energy and food are prerequisites for prosperity and wellbeing of the societies. Despite the strong interlinkages among these sectors decisions for future developments are usually made without sufficient consideration of these interdependencies. The aim of this paper is to reflect on the most fundamental causalities and decision variables which govern the dynamics of Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus. For this purpose, channels through which water, energy and food sectors influence each other are introduced. “Accidental Adversaries” and “Limit to Success” archetypes are used in the conceptualization phase of the modeling WEF nexus. Further, several development issues, potential bottlenecks, trade-off and synergies in WEF system are discussed. System archetypes found to be effective tools in structuring the fragmented knowledge of causalities and relationships which is evident in WEF system. Accidental Adversaries, in particular, holds a great potential to capture trade-offs and synergies which are central issues in the WEF nexus approach. This study is the first step to establish the framework for building a quantitative system dynamics (SD) model for integrated management and development of WEF system.