AUB-FAFS and Texas A&M University (TAMU) hosted a webinar on November 27, 2018, to present the findings of the "San Antonio Case Studies of the Texas A&M WEF Nexus Initiative," published in a special issue of Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN) on Opportunities in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approach: Innovatively driving economic development, social well-being, and environmental sustainability. The experience of the Texas A&M University Water-Energy-Food Nexus Initiative (WEFNI) includes creating a university-wide, four-year, investigatory experience in support of planning for the water, energy, and food resource nexus in San Antonio and surrounding regions and as climate and urban growth alter water supplies. The system-wide effort was led by Rabi H. Mohtar, WEFNI coordinator, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Research Professor, Texas A&M University, and currently FAFS dean. Members of the Coordinating Committee for the WEFNI project include: Bruce McCarl, Kent E. Portney, Efstratios N. Pistikopoulos, Rudolph A. Rosen, Jack Baldauf, and David Baltensperger.
Lessons learned (in brief):
- System-of-systems quantification of water, energy, food, and related systems are similar across hotspots.
- Challenges posed are bound by local knowledge, physical constraints, and governance,
- Solutions must be contextualized locally
- Interdisciplinary teams are an iterative process that requires time and energy
- Interdisciplinary approaches to developing solutions expands opportunities for economic development and social well-being.
Some interesting stats: invitations were sent by email to more than 600 persons from the WEFNI and/or the AUB lists. The physical audience included about 100 persons in the two locations (Beirut and College Station). The online audience peaked at 153 persons, whose average listening time was 84 minutes.
Listeners included: Texas A&M, AUB, DOW Chemical Co., Conagua Mexico, Near East Foundation, World Food Program, University of Vermont, US-EPA, FEMSA (Coca-cola Mexico), University of Geneva, US-MENA, WSP Global, Spelman University (GA USA), GK4D (EU), University of Maryland, The GEF, World Economic Forum, UFRJ Energy Planning Program (Brazil), FAS-USDA, Georgia Tech, Global Communities, The Cyprus Institute, U Mass, Johns Hopkins U, Suez Group (Paris), Woolpert (USA), U Florida, New York University, Circle of Blue, United Nations, US Department of State, National Wildlife Federation, MEFOSA, United Nations University (Institute for Environment and Human Security), Florida A&M University, Purdue University, DAAD-Lebanon, NSF, Penn State University, Middle East Technical University (Turkey), Localized Water Solutions (USA), OK State U, and numerous additional sign-ins from gmail, yahoo, and other accounts.
Materials (papers and recording) see also at the Texas A&M WEFNI websites.