A. Efstratiadis, and G.-K. Sakki, The water-energy nexus as sociotechnical system under uncertainty, Elgar Encyclopedia of Water Policy, Economics and Management, edited by P. Kountouri and A. Alamanos, 2024.
Although the roots of the concept of sustainability and the associated concerns are too deep, the massive changes across all scales (global and local) enforce the science to resolve the interlinked and highly uncertain nexus of water and energy. The four pillars of sustainability are underlying to technical, social, economic and environmental factors, which are inherently interdependent. Consequently, these factors generate multiple facets of uncertainty that span over all external and internal processes, regarding the system’s drivers (environmental and social), the fluxes, as well as their conversions across the water-energy nexus. From the pure technical perspective, the uncertainty of the input environmental processes is usually expressed through probabilistic and stochastic models, as the proper means to describe changing systems, while the key question to address is whether such approaches can also be expanded into the even more complex areas of societal systems. In this context, the focus of this article is to introduce an integrated overview of the water-energy nexus as a dynamic sociotechnical system, to highlight the effects of cascade uncertainties, and eventually provide a critical review of state-of-the-art solutions.
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