Collaborating at the nexus of society's challenges

Group of one women and four men stand together, smilingHistorically, policies for agriculture, energy and water have been made in isolation of one another. In reality, these systems are all interconnected – an interplay called the food-energy-water nexus. As demands on each sector of the nexus continue to grow, the siloed approach to policies involving limited natural resources impedes a sustainable future. That's what a transdisciplinary team of five ASU researchers – including senior sustainability scientists Dave White and Rimjhim Aggarwal – have set out to remedy with a $3 million award from the National Science Foundation. The team conducts research to build decision support tools that look at the interdependence of these systems and help develop sustainable policies for the future. Each member brings his or her own area of expertise to define, analyze and visualize problems within the  nexus, creating a more complete understanding.