Sustainability issues in the food-energy-water nexus

Lead University: The University of Manchester

Professor Adisa Azapgaci, Dr Harish Jeswani, Angelina Frankowski


Water, energy and food are inextricably linked. Resources for food production are already stressed. Therefore a nexus approach is necessary for a sustainable use of water and energy in the food sector to meet the needs of an ever growing demand on limited resources.

The main aim of this research is to provide a better understanding of the interdependences in the food-energy-water nexus and to identify opportunities for reducing water and energy consumption as well as other environmental and socio-economic impacts. Taking a life cycle approach, the following are the specific objectives of the project:

  • to develop a methodology for identifying and assessing the interrelationships between energy, water food;
  • to apply the methodology to selected food products consumed in the UK and evaluate the environmental, social and economic impacts in the FEW nexus along the whole supply chains;
  • to identify hotspots in the life cycle of different products in terms of energy and water use as well as other sustainability issues;
  • to identify trade-offs between energy and water use for food production and consumption;
  • to identify options for reducing energy and water use along with other sustainability impacts in the food sector; and
  • to make recommendations to industry and government for a resilient and sustainable food production in the UK with regard the FEW nexus.

Read More