Abstract for:finding appropriate complexity of model structure to coordinate water storage at the food-energy-water nexus

Food-Energy-Water (FEW) demands across sectors are increasingly being investigated and scrutinized for synergies and conflicts. The increasing frequency of extreme weather, such as flood and drought, brings extra challenges to water allocation across the FEW nexus in the Yakima River Basin of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest region. Different perspectives on water storage management determine the structural complexity of the FEW system where trade-offs on levels of scales, breadth, and heterogeneity are expected. A top-down (highly aggregated) structure and a generic bottom-up (semi-aggregated) structure are developed to gain insight in how to balance trade-offs to capture crucial interactions and feedbacks that define the FEW system behaviors, particularly related to storage mechanisms. The former structure considers the FEW resources as potentials interacting with each other, while detailed dynamics of water allocations are driven by water demand, available water storage, water rights, flow rules, and water storage management in the latter structure. Scenarios of various climates with extreme dry and wet events were selected to evaluate the effectiveness of coordinated water storage management. The assessment of sensitivities of both structures identifies critical variables and feedback loops in the FEW nexus.