The workshop “Interdisciplinary approaches to assess and model the urban water-energy nexus” took place in Karlsruhe, Germany from the 31st of July until the 1st of August. The Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) under the roof of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology organised the network event together with the Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management (iswa) from the University of Stuttgart and funding from the Water Research Network Baden-Württemberg. The event aimed at linking different research approaches on the water-energy nexus. The target groups were doctoral and post-doctoral students. During the workshop, various synergies and transferable solutions among the research topics have been discovered and discussed. Especially the topics of linking models, engaging different stakeholder groups and translating model results to various audiences were of great interest. Some open (research) question have been identified, for example how to assess tradeoffs in the modelling process and how to include sustainability (indicators) into Nexus research.
Gitta Koellner, in the name of ACTeon, presented the SIM4NEXUS project and roadmap to the group. Special interest was shown for the Serious Game as a way to translate and visualize research output. The exchange on the applied methodologies fostered cooperation between research projects.
EMP-E kicked off on May 17 in Brussels and more than 80 participants from the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation, DG JRC, DG Energy and DG Clima) as well as from a large number of European modelling groups. Floor Brouwer (WUR-LEI) and Hector Pollitt (CE) contributed to the start-up of the new Energy Modelling Platform (EMP-E). Their presentation did focus on ‘Energy modelling and the Nexus concept: design and tools in SIM4NEXUS’. There was a re-confirmed interest in the Nexus from the audience. Other partners attending this platform event were Mark Howells (KTH), Georgios Averinopoulos (KTH), Ioannis Pappis (KTH) and Jean-Francois Mercure (RU).
Hector Pollitt (Cambridge Econometrics) presented at a UNFCCC side event in Bonn on methodologies that could be applied to assess the impact of response measures implemented by member countries. The event was broadcast (audio only) on YouTube and attended by around 60-70 people from a range of countries that were interested in developing modelling capacity. In his presentation, Hector gave an overview of quantitative analytical approaches ranging from very simple calculations to highly complex modelling. He used the work being carried out in SIM4NEXUS for the Azerbaijan case study as an example of carrying out analysis in countries where there are data limitations. See also: http://unfccc.int/cooperation_support/response_measures/items/10354.php
SIM4NEXUS project partners met in Trebon, Czech Republic, the home of the meeting host and project partner ENKI. During the two days of active work, the partners took stock of the progress of work within Work Packages and Case Studies. Noting that important milestones have been reached in the first project year, including the finalisation of the first ‘fast track’ case study work in Sardinia, completion of the deliverables comprising the scientific inventory of the nexus interconnections and relevant EU and international policies, development of a common framework for nexus analysis within cases, first insights of market interest in SIM4NEXUS products and services, as well as further progress on impact-oriented communication and dissemination. The partners look forward to proceed with the work, as they are entering the core phase of the project with the final goal of developing a set of methods and tools to analyse and understand the nexus between water, energy, food, land and climate as well as the sustainable nexus policy options on international to local levels.
During the meeting s ‘SIM4NEXUS hero’ title was awarded to partners that have delivered exceptional effort and results within the first project year: Stefania Munaretto (PBL) for her work on nexus policy analysis, Maria Papadopoulou (UTH) on her work on Greek case study, as well as Simone Mereu and Antonio Trabucco (both UNISS) for their work on Sardina case study. Congratulations!
Prior to the project coordination meeting, the Work Package leads also met with the External Advisory Board in Prague.
UNESCO-IHE has post-doc to work on SIM4NEXUS in WP3 (mainly). The Integrated Water Systems and Governance Department is looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher on integrated water-food-energy systems modelling (m/f) – 0.84 FTE (4 days per week). The candidate will work closely with Dr. Janez Sušnik (IHE Delft project leader) in developing system dynamics models for the 12 case studies involved in the SIM4NEXUS project. The case studies cover a range of scales from regional (e.g. south-west England) to national (e.g. The Netherlands), European and Global. Additional information can be obtained from Janez Sušnik, Deputy Head of the Integrated Water Systems and Governance Department (+31 (0)15 215 2368; firstname.lastname@example.org). Details on the application procedure can be found at: https://www.un-ihe.org/working-ihe-delft
Maria P. Papadopoulou (UTH) was invited to participate on March 28 in a round table on sustainable tourism and culture, organized by the Hellenic Greek Ministry of Tourism. She had the chance to present the SIM4NEXUS concept and the Greek case study to about 30 persons. The feedback she got from the Greek Authorities - mainly governmental (Ministries of Tourism, Foreign Affairs and Culture) - and the other participants from Serbia, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia was very positive. The presentation ‘Perspectives for the development of the Tourist Sector - SIM4NEXUS: Towards a Sustainable Economy and an Effective Use of Resources’ was well received.
The SIM4NEXUS project relies on modelling to understand how the different components of the Nexus (water-food-energy-climate) are affected under different scenarios in the case study regions. The outcomes of the modelling undertaken within the project will feed into the development of the Serious Game.
Two experts on SDM from the consortium – Lydia Vamvakeridou (UNEXE) and Janez Susnik (IHE Delft) will hold an online course from 3-4 May to facilitate the use of modelling in the case studies. The course will focus on explaining to the case study partners the different software packages, including STELLA or VENSIM.
On 5th of April Fresh Thoughts was invited (and attended) to a DG CLIMA workshop to provide inputs to the EU Adaptation strategy review, which is currently ongoing. Fresh-Thoughts represented SIM4NEXUS and provided inputs from the nexus perspective to this policy-making event.
The Joint Research Center and the MAGIC project (Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing Nexus Security) are hosting a working in Brussels on 20 April. The workshop “Debunking myths and interrogating the universality of global and local integrations” focuses on energy and energy policies inside the EU institutions. The aim of the workshop is to discuss different insights regarding heterodox narratives about energy and more in general sustainability.
Maria Witmer (PBL) and Eunice Ramos (KTH) are attending on behalf of the SIM4NEXUS consortium. They will report back to the consortium regarding the discussions and how they link to the nexus energy-water-climate-food.
Seven thematic models will be used to gain knowledge of the Nexus in each Case Study, under different climate change scenarios for 2030 and 2050. Results from the model runs will enable the identification of the main gaps in the Nexus and also contribute to the development of complex science tools within the project SIM4NEXUS.
Further information for each thematic model is available in section Outputs/ Deliverables.
The 15th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology will be held in Rhodes, Greece from 31 August-2 September. This biennial conference brings together engineers, scientists, researchers, students, managers and other professionals in order to address and discuss emerging environmental issues. The main aim of the conference is the presentation of state-of-the art research and innovative technologies to address local and international critical environmental issues.
At the conference, there will be a special sesson on the Water-Energy-Land-Climate-Flood nexus. The purpose of this special session is to bring together researchers, professionals and policy makers in the field of water, energy, climate and food production sectors to first understand how water and energy management, food production, biodiversity, land use and climate are linked together and then propose sustainable approaches, actions and measures to address the multi-dimensional nexus issues as described by the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals through innovation and uptake of technologies and policies.
Chrysi Laspidou and Maria Papadopoulou from SIM4NEXUS will co-chair the session.
SIM4NEXUS partners Floor Brouwer, Wageningen Economic Research, Dragan Savic, University of Exeter and Gabriel Anzaldi, EURECAT attended the Waterwise Annual Water Efficiency Conference and ICT4Water Cluster Event on the 8th of March 2017 in London. The 2017 Waterwise Annual Water Efficiency Conference focused on “Delivering Water Efficiency projects and programmes”. The event provided key stakeholders within the water sector an opportunity for key to come together to discuss how to further water efficiency in the UK.
The Conference also hosted the European ICT4Water Clustering event, of which SIM4NEXUS is a member. The session looked at using applied research and practical experience to optimise the implementation of water efficiency projects for households, business and agriculture. Dragan Savic (UNEXE) chaired the Research and Innovation session, identifying how existing research activities (including the ICT4Water projects) can feed into water utility work. Floor Brouwer held a short presentation on "How to improve Resource Efficiency". In addition, during the event Gabriel Anzaldi (Eurecat) outlined the ‘Action Plan to Digital Single Market’, as SIM4NEXUS is going to feed into this plan in the coming months.
Some 90 participants from the water business sector, public policy and research showed a great interest into the Nexus of water-energy-food, and 7 EU-funded projects currently address the water-energy Nexus.
The Global Stock-taking Workshop on assessments of the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus and response measures in transboundary basins took place in the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 6 and 7 December 2016. The workshop was then followed by the fourth meeting of the Task Force on the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus on December 8th. The KTH team working on the SIM4NEXUS project had the opportunity to communicate their nexus methodology and share ideas with institutes that have conceptualised comparable integrated assessment approaches, and with country delegates involved in the nexus assessments.
Claudia Teutschbein (UU) presented SIM4NEXUS (background, approach and methods) and more specifically the Swedish Case Study to staff members at Uppsala University. The Swedish case study focuses on forest-water-energy issues in a changing climate. The audience - consisting mainly of physical geographers, meteorologists, hydrologists and environmental scientists - were amazed about the ambitious efforts of SIM4NEXUS to combine such a wide range of both NEXUS-relevant issues and methodologies within social, political and natural sciences. There was broad consensus on the fact that Sweden is currently facing the challenge of achieving the agreed upon Environmental Quality Objectives for water and forests by 2020 because present environmental initiatives are not sufficient. After the presentation, participants shared their experience with stakeholder engagement and provided useful feedback on how to actively involve more stakeholders in the Swedish case. Suggestions were also made regarding testing of the serious game with different student groups at Uppsala University.
Organised by the Hungarian Government in cooperation with the World Water Council, the Budapest Water Summit is the first global conference summarising the results of the UNSDGs (in particular, Goal #6: Clean Water and Sanitation) since they were implemented in 2015. At the conference, the aim was to set out tasks with targets to be achieved for the next 15 years.
The Summit’s mission: Water shall be the source of cooperation, peace and development for all nations committed to sustainable development.
In the session on "More production with less water consumption? Implications of the Paris Agreement on the Water - Energy – Industry triangle.", Chengzi Chew from DHI gave a presentation on "Serious gaming for serious impacts", with links to the Nexus approach.
Two Horizon2020 projects: SIM4NEXUS and MAGIC are jointly co‐ordinating the Nexus working group (WG) ‘Water Energy Food Biodiversity nexus’ of the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform (WssTP), a SIM4NEXUS partner. The two projects are jointly co‐ordinating the working group, in a rotating structure. Both projects have designated a core group of key contributing persons. The SIM4NEXUS core group includes Floor Bouwer, Wageningen Economic Research, Lydia Vamvakeridou, University of Exeter, Chrysi Laspidou, University of Thessaly and Gabriel Anzaldi, EURECAT.
On 24 November 2016, the working group held a meeting in Brussels introducing the two projects and holding discussions on the work plan for year 2017. It addition, the group discussed potential further cooperation building on common synergies in nexus research, nexus knowledge, dissemination and creating impact. The meeting was chaired by the SIM4NEXUS Coordinator Floor Brouwer; Chrysi Laspidou held a presentation introducing the project and Lydia Vamvakeridou led the discussion on enhancing synergies.
The next meeting of the working group is scheduled for June 2017.
Maria Papadopoulou (UTH) presented the SIM4NESUS project to a large audience at the 1st Conference of the National Rural Network 2014-2020 "Networking to promote innovation in rural areas'', which took pace in Athens, Greece on 21 November 2016. The feedback from the policy authorities, agricultural unions and also other research institutes that were present was extremely high. They were excited with the SIM4NEXUS concept, and they are looking forward to be part of the case study in GReece. Maria and colleagues are planning to have small informative meetings targeted at stakeholders from agriculture in 3-4 locations all over the country to keep them "on board" until our first workshop (Spring 2017) when the first results from the models will be presented and they will be able to get a more clear picture of the Serious Game.
About 45 consortium members met in Barcelona on November 16 & 17 to work on the 12 case studies. The event was hosted by EURECAT in its inspiring premises in Barcelona. Wednesday morning sessions were dedicated to the thematic models: 3 hours of high-level science to understand our future! The Plenary session focused on the case studies “roadmap”, describing the scientific assessments and stakeholders processes to be followed by all. The workshop on Wednesday helped the project to better understand the offer from the thematic models, and how to make this tangible and prepare for its implementation. Thursday morning was spent working in small groups on tools and methodologies for the “policy-assessment” component of the case studies.
On Friday, November 18, the partners from the SIM4NEXUS project came together to discuss progress in the project overall and to discuss future steps in the project leading up to the next project meeting, which will take place in May 2017.
All Partners look forward to continue the work and to see each other again.
Chrysi Laspidou, a SIM4NEXUS partner from the University of Thessaly, attended the IWA World Water Congress 2016, which took place in Brisbane Australia from 9-13 October 2016. Chrysi held a presentation at the Intermittent Water Supply Open Meeting, informing participants of the purpose, objectives and deliverables of SIM4NEXUS project and exchanging ideas and thoughts on the way forward in assisting water utilities and governments in improving the level of service to the consumers and water supply conditions in general. The presentation highlighted policies and how the water-energy-land use-climate nexus influences intermittent water supply.
The Royal Geographic Society held its Annual Conference from 29 August to 1 September 2016 in London. The main theme this year was "Nexus Thinking". Lydia S. Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia held a presentation in the Session "Water Energy and Food Nexus: Dealing with a wicked problem? (1): WEF NEXUS Thinking: UK and International Perspectives".
Click on the download link below to view her presentation.
A new project “Sustainable Integrated Management FOR the NEXUS of water-land-food-energy-climate for a resource-efficient Europe (SIM4NEXUS)” has been selected by the European Commission to sign a Grant Agreement for an overall grant of nearly € 8,000,000. The project, which involves 26 partners from 15 countries is led by Wageningen UR (The Netherlands), will start in May 2016 and run for 4 years.
SIM4NEXUS will develop innovative methodologies to facilitate the design of policies and bridge knowledge and technology gaps in the field of the water-land-food-energy-climate Nexus under climate change conditions. The project aims to develop a methodology of integration using a complexity science approach and a Serious Game, as an integrating tool for testing and evaluating policy decisions. The Serious Game will be operable at different scales ranging from regional to national, to continental, to global, as well as at different time horizons—short, medium and long-term.
“SIM4NEXUS has 4 objectives”, explains George Beers, the Project Coordinator, “namely to adopt existing knowledge and develop new expertise on the Nexus, to reduce uncertainties of how policies, governance and institutions affect complex changing environmental systems, to showcase the implementation by a network of regional and national case studies in Europe and to valorise the project outputs by creating project spinoffs.” Such approach is in the core of the EU research and innovation policy, as “this is an ambitious and challenging project which positions European research and business as frontrunners at the global level”.
The 26 partners of SIM4NEXUS are from 14 countries (NL, EL, UK, DE, ES, IT, JP, SE, CZ, DK, FR, AT, LV and BE), namely: Wageningen UR, NL; University of Thessaly, EL; University of Exeter, UK; Stichting IHE Delft, NL; Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung, DE; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, ES; Bocconi University, IT; United Nations University /Bonn, JP; University of Cambridge, UK; KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SE; Uppsala University, SE; Eurecat, ES; University of Sassari, IT; ENKI, CZ; Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, NL; DHI Group, DK; South West Water, UK; ACTeon, FR; Epsilon Malta Limited, MT; Cambridge Econometrics, UK; Radbourd University, UK; Strane Innovation, FR; Fresh Thoughts, AT; Baltic Environmental Forum Latvia, LV; People & Water, SK; Water and Sanitation Technology Platform, BE.