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      Optimizing Water Resource Allocation for Food and Energy Linkages under Urbanization


      Science Impact, Ltd.

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          Project 1: Water, food and energy are the most essential natural resources needed to sustain life. Water-Food-Energy Nexus (WFE Nexus) has nowadays caught global attention upon natural resources scarcity and interdependency. In the past decades, Taiwan's integrative development has undergone drastic changes due to population growth, urbanization and excessive utilization of natural resources. It is now in the context that this three-year project intends to carry out interdisciplinary studies on WFE Nexus based on data collection and analysis as well as technology innovation, with a mission to develop a comprehensive solution to configure the synergistic utilization of WFE resources in an equal and secure manner for building intelligent dynamic green cities and moving toward sustainable green economy. This research will be organized into six main tasks: 1) acquire and analyze WFE-related multi-dimensional long-term heterogeneous data as well as literatures, and identify the interdependent indicators of WFE Nexus in response to urbanization; 2) build system dynamics among food production, irrigation water resource management and energy consumption; 3) assess the impacts and uncertainty of the proposed solutions on WFE Nexus; 4) develop artificial intelligence and system dynamics techniques to establish the integrated solutions on WFE Nexus for sustainable and secure nexus management in close connections with authorities and stakeholders; 5) conduct comparative studies of WFE Nexus between the Tamsui River basin and the Jhuoshuei River basin to provide a referential guide for resource-policy nexus management, and extend the proposed solutions to countries of interest in the future; and 6) share the research results through international cooperation, publications in international peer-review journals and international exchanges. This project will integrate the professional knowledge and practical experiences of consortium members to establish the WFE Nexus solutions through interdisciplinary research over cross-sectors. This study will probe the appropriate and secure resources distribution and coopetition relationship by applying and developing techniques of artificial intelligence, system dynamics, life cycle assessment and synergy management under data mining, system analysis and scenario analysis. The issues of synergy effects, economic benefits and sustainable social development will be evaluated as well. We will organize a cross-sectoral work group and host stakeholder workshops to promote decision-maker dialogs as well as join international WFE Nexus collaborative projects for learning international cooperation and sharing our comprehensive solutions. We sincerely hope and believe that our proposed methodology/solutions can help promote human well-being and achieve the goal of sustainable green economy. Project 2 (international collaboration): Water, Food and Energy (WFE) are the essential nutrients of current and growing urban centers that sustains their vibrant operation and healthy urban metabolism. Taiwan's integrative development has undergone drastic changes due to urbanization, blooming economy and excessive utilization of natural resources, where the imbalance between supply and demand of resources has brought huge challenges to urban metabolism. It is now in the context that this three-year project intends to carry out interdisciplinary studies on WFE Nexus, with a mission to develop a comprehensive solution that configures the synergistic utilization of WFE resources in an equal and secure manner through making optimal utilization of resources and establishing system dynamics models for achieving healthy urban metabolism and building intelligent green cities. This research will be organized into six main tasks: 1) establish a heterogeneous database and explore the interrelations of WFE Nexus by big data mining; 2) construct WFE Nexus-based system dynamics patterns engaging supply chain management in urban metabolic systems; 3) build simulation, optimization and forecasting models by using artificial intelligence techniques for improving resources utilization efficiency and synergy; 4) design scenarios of WFE Nexus and develop a comprehensive and robust integrated WFE Nexus-based solution to achieve healthy urban metabolism; 5) explore optimal solutions to tackle their impacts and uncertainty on urban metabolism and propose WFE Nexus-based governance strategies and policies; and 6) expose and share project results with global societies through paper publishing and international collaboration for enhancing the influence of Taiwan on international societies. The main contribution of this project is to identify the key factors of urban metabolism as well as their complex interactions from WFE Nexus perspective and to improve the cost-benefit for WFE consumption by optimizing WFE reallocations. We will collect heterogeneous data at different scales and establish a heterogeneous database for conducting big data mining. Various technologies (e.g. AI, big data, data mining, system dynamics and life cycle assessment) suitable for evaluating the complex urban metabolic system will be applied to constructing intelligent urban metabolic systems through identifying key nexus factors that govern urban metabolic processes and the critical pathways of WFE transport to urban centers under scenario analysis. To ensure a feasible work plan, we will establish direct engagement of the relevant stakeholders and decision makers in the participating departments of government. Moreover, our comprehensive solutions will provide stakeholders and decision makers with strategic policy recommendations to help sustain the inevitable trends of urbanization by effectively managing the WFE Nexus. Our underlying rationale is that FWE Nexus, manifesting as a complex supply-chain network, forms the basis of the urban metabolic system that sustains the development of our urban centers. The primary outcome will be the development of the intelligent urban metabolic systems appropriate for cities of interest where we see unique challenges for green urban centers of tomorrow.

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          Author and article information

          Science Impact, Ltd.
          August 21 2018
          August 21 2018
          : 2018
          : 6
          : 20-22
          © 2018

          This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

          Earth & Environmental sciences, Medicine, Computer science, Agriculture, Engineering


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