The Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus
NY state’s energy production portfolio is relatively diverse, with significant proportions of hydroelectric, nuclear, natural gas, solar, and wind. Furthermore, NY is a leading producer of apples, grapes, onions, sweet corn, tomatoes, and maple syrup in the United States. Production of food and energy in a changing climate involves both trade-offs and tension, including impacts to water resources. The objectives of this program are to:
- Identify significant and/or emerging water resource risks/impacts associated with NY’s energy and food production portfolios
- Conduct research and outreach on risks and trade-offs identified at the water-energy and water-food nexuses
- Communicate results to resource managers, government entities, and the public in order to educate NY stakeholders about the consequences of our energy and food production choices
- Evaluate the water-related impacts of expanded renewable energy development, especially solar and wind.
- Research and analyze risks to water quality related to agricultural and forested land-use.
- Identify the benefits of land use conversions between food and energy in terms of water quantity and quality.
- Assess how climate change effected the tensions across the water-energy-food nexus.
- Create summaries of research findings and engage with local/regional stakeholders involved with energy development and/or food production, including Cornell University and their contractors
Diversity Equity & Inclusion/ Environmental Justice
- Determine whether issues at the intersection of the water, energy, and food address EJ and assess the adequacy of responsiveness.
- Make recommendations on how to better incorporate EJ into policies and programs that are at the forefront of water, energy, and food issues.