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Facilitating the next generation of effective and intelligent water-related policies utilising artificial intelligence and reinforcement learning to assess the water-energy-food-ecosystem (WEFE) nexus

par Muriel - 18 novembre 2021

Contrat débuté en 2021, achevé en 2025
Responsable du projet pour CITERES : Isabelle La Jeunesse

Water, Energy and Food form an interconnected nexus, with Ecosystems and their services inextricably bound up in the WEFE nexus, and helping to deliver the resources and services needed to sustain human activity. Shifts in the WEFE nexus are driven by changes in biophysical (climate, precipitation, land cover) and human (economic development, agriculture, urban growth) conditions. Continuing current consumption rates imply deepening resource and ecological deficit – when resources are extracted at a faster rate than they are replaced. To effectively manage resources and avoid conflicts between users, many relevant policies must be intelligently designed to address nexus interconnectedness at many spatial scales.

A better understanding of the impact of policies on the WEFE nexus by exploiting artificial intelligence tools to assist policy makers in guiding integrated policy design is required if sectoral synergy is to be achieved. Such improved understanding will facilitate coherent water-related policy design to achieve resource use efficiency, leverage synergies, and promote sectoral cooperation. The problem can be stated as a combination of : (i) a complex, poorly understood water-energy-food system ; (b) the lack of ecosystem integration into the WEF system ; (c) sectoral policy development ; (d) a lack of understanding on how policies impact the WEFE nexus.

In order to answer to this, NEXOGENESIS proposes to develop and validate : (a) a coherent cross-sectoral policy-making framework at different scales addressing climate and socio-economic change, as well as stakeholder behaviour and transboundary (diplomacy) issues ; (b) a Self-Learning Nexus Assessment Engine (SLNAE) exploiting reinforcement learning, and supporting streamlining water-related policies into the WEFE nexus ; (c) a WEFE Nexus Footprint, accompanying the SLNAE. The NEXOGENESIS framework will use an integrated methodological approach, developed for and validated by stakeholders, policy makers, and academics.

NEXOGENESIS will apply its approach to four European (CS#1 : Nestos River, EL-BG ; CS#2 : Lielupe River Basin, LT-LV ; CS#3 : Lower Danube River Basin, RO-SRB-BG ; CS#4 : Adige River, IT) and one international case study (CS#5 : Inkomati-Usuthu Water Management Area, RSA-SZ-MZ).

NEXOGENESIS results and outcomes, during and after the project, will have a major impact on advancing nexus understanding and governance in the case studies and beyond, resulting in a more innovative and competitive European Union regarding nexus policy-making, backed up by state-of-the-art evidence. NEXOGENESIS will continue to drive the project forward after the end of the funding period, through dedicated outscaling objectives in order to maximise future impacts and will bring project results to extended group of users via an innovative stakeholder engagement process.

Coordination du projet : Janez Susnik, IHE Delft Institute for water education

Responsable du projet pour CITERES  : Isabelle La Jeunesse

Nombre de partenaires : 20

Début de contrat : septembre 2021

Durée du contrat : 48 mois

NEXOGENESIS - Project presentation (Vidéo Youtube)

Teaser du colloque « Climate change & water », 31 mai-1er juin 2022