Water Energy Food: WEFWEBs

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Mathematics & Statistics

Abstract

The water, energy and food systems (the WEF) of the planet are under strain, sometimes described as the "perfect storm". They are all intrinsically linked and inter-dependent (the nexus), and humanity needs to plot a course to ensure sustainability and in an ideal world, equity of access to resources.
The WEFWEBs project will examine the data and evidence for the water, energy and food systems and their interactions and dependencies within the local, regional and national environment. We need to maintain a balance between the three sometimes opposing directions that our primary systems are moving in to ensure that we safeguard our ecosystems, while still being able to live sustainably, in a world where demands are increasing. To study these systems and their dependencies and interactions, we need to bring together a multitude of different disciplines from the physical, environmental computational and mathematical sciences, with economics, social science, psychology and policy. Each of the three systems needs to be studied through the data that exists concerning their flows, resources and impacts, but also through individual and civic understanding of the systems.
We will collect, synthesise and assimilate existing data, and models with new data that will be collected using new sensing technology and social media. We will examine each of the multiple dimensions of the nexus in three place based studies where we can explore and examine the outputs from data analysis, process and network models, and social perceptions.
This project delivers multiple dynamic WEF nexus maps with spatial level spanning the dimensions of the problem, reflecting current status and changes, and the interactions in the primary systems in space and time. There is currently no critically systemic, participatory, multi-stakeholder mapping of the entire multi-scale WEF nexus for the UK and this project offers innovation in terms of the multi-disciplinarity and variety of methods including systemic intervention, data analytics and crowd sourcing techniques to mapping the WEF nexus.
Ultimately, WEFWEBs will provide a better understanding to citizens and policy makers alike of the effects of choices and decisions to be made.

Planned Impact

Our beneficiaries are regulators and policy makers, utility companies, food producers and retailers, individual citizens and academics.
WEFWEbs brings multiple benefits to all these groups;

The fundamental impact from this work will be the improvement in the sustainability of our society and an improved understanding of the consequences of the choices which we make as a citizen or a society:

Policy makers, regulators and planners: Stakeholders will benefit from the ability to make improved decisions around planning and aligning policies at national and regional levels, potentially improving public services. Debates concerning the WEFWEB nexus at national and international level can be informed by this improved understanding which WEFWEBs brings, increasing the effectiveness and evidence base for policy.

Utility companies, primary food producers and retailers: Stakeholders will benefit from WEFWEBs by being able to improve their decision making, by being able to examine the consequences of changes, environmental impacts and ultimately in potential efficiency gains, fostering improved economic performance and the reduction of waste.
Society: Societal and civic impact will take the form of more informed consumer choice, potentially economic benefit to the individual, resilience and more social equality, and thus quality of life. For researchers, academic impact derives primarily from excellence in research, the focus being on delivering new insights into the WEF nexus. This project will provide training and research experience to the postdoctoral researchers across a wide range of research areas spanning the NEXUS. These individuals will benefit from exposure to a broad range of industries, governmental organisations and regulators.
Improved understanding of the nexus will increase the effectiveness of our primary systems, and help improve food security, by mapping out interdependencies. This research at local level could have an immediate impact, but is likely to have a longer term impact.
 
Title Tamar grows 
Description Clay and wood art piece that presents, in an innovative way, the role that sustainable local food systems play in the creation of resilient livelihoods and communities. Potter Rosie Fierek's artwork is inspired by the work that Tamar Grow Local undertakes in the area - stimulating and incentivizing local food production and consumption - and research by Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) researchers Gloria Salmoral and Xiaoyu Yan on water-energy-food nexus in the EPSRC funded WEFWEBs project. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact n/a 
 
Description Our major finding so far has been that often there is insufficient data openly accessible to allow us to undertake a fully quantitative assessment of the WEF nexus. In addition through our work with households, we have also identified that the WEF nexus contributes to social inequalities.
Exploitation Route this indicates that we need to work harder as a society to make our data holdings work for us, and not to silo them. we have also learnt that any WEF solutions need to be context specific and recognise the social and political settings.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Retail

URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/research/az/wefwebs/
 
Description very briefly our findings have been fed back to our stakeholders, and in the workshops we have run to encourage more open access. we have hosted several more workshops, and have installed sensors in the Ridgeview Winery impacting on how the winery is operated.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description EPSRC IAA UCL
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation University College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Title IoT WEF 
Description • Capturing the WEF nexus with wireless sensor networks (WSNs) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. o Deployed an end-to-end wireless sensor system in Ridgeview Winery. In order to capture the WEF nexus, we deploy a state-of-the-art wireless sensor system. 47 sensing devices and a PC-based base station have been deployed in the Ridgeview winery to capture the ambient information from Ridgeview since late 2016. A solar-powered device was also tested with the system to capture its own energy profile. This deployment can be regarded as an initial trail which helps us to establish a system that will capture the WEF information from both the in-door winery and our-door vineyards in 2017. o Develop next generation wireless sensor systems capturing real-time WEF data from both in the vineyards and winery. We are developing customised hardware and software based sophisticated platforms (i.e. Texas Instrument SensorTag cc2650/1350 and Contiki). Potential control and actuations will be tested. • Develop an online cloud service which is specifically designed for IoT applications to storage data and provides user-friendly visualisations with which users can easily understand the WEF behaviour though timelines. Further inferences can be obtained with online analytic tools provided. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact • We have developed a customised hardware/software for precision agriculture, and we are now developing next generation systems for both out-door and in-door solutions. 
 
Description Rdigeview winery partnership 
Organisation Ridgeview Winery
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution • Deploy an end-to-end wireless sensor system in Ridgeview Winery. To capture the WEF nexus, we deploy a state-of-the-art wireless sensor system. 47 sensing devices and a PC-based base station have been deployed in the Ridgeview winery to capture the ambient information from Ridgeview since late 2016. A solar-powered device was also tested with the system to capture its own energy profile. This deployment can be regarded as an initial trail which helps us to establish a system that will capture the WEF information from both the in-door winery and our-door vineyards in 2017.
Collaborator Contribution they have allowed us to install equipment in their business, shared the data and will host a workshop
Impact o A workshop that focuses on precision agriculture in British wine production is planning to be facilitated in Ridgeview winery on 28th and 29th of June. Instead of focus on specific geographical region as other WEF workshops, this workshop studies the WEF nexus within a specific industry, which remains a sizable scale that worth study
Start Year 2016
 
Title IoT 
Description • We have developed a customised hardware/software for precision agriculture, and we are now developing next generation systems for both out-door and in-door solutions. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact increasing use of IoT in precision agriculturr 
 
Description CIWEM 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact CIWEM is a professional organisation of water managers, we gave a WEFWEBs presentation on our work and the nexus tools we have been developing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ECCA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact presentation at the European climate change and adaptation conference to raise the profile of the WEF nexus and our work
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description EGU 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact a poster on WEFWEBs preliminary findings was presented at the European geophysical union annual conference (with several thousand delegates)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ENVIOINFO 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The EnviroInfo 2017 is the 31st edition of the long standing international and interdisciplinary conference series on leading environmental information and communication technologies. WEFWEBs presented two papers in the conference: S. Lambert (STFC Rutherford Appleton Lab.), V. Bunakov (STFC Rutherford Appleton Lab.), S. McGrane (Glasgow Univ.), M. Scott (Glasgow Univ.) "Open data in studies of the water-energy-food nexus". In: Benoît Otjacques, Patrik Hitzelberger, Stefan Naumann, Volker Wohlgemuth (Eds.) From Science to Society: The Bridge provided by Environmental Informatics. Adjunct Proceedings of the 31st EnviroInfo conference. Shaker (2017): 221-226. https://www.shaker.eu/en/content/catalogue/index.asp?lang=en&ID=8&ISBN=978-3-8440-5495-8 Green Open Access version is published in the STFC ePubs repository: http://purl.org/net/epubs/work/35032199 V. Bunakov (STFC Rutherford Appleton Lab.), S. Lambert (STFC Rutherford Appleton Lab.), X. Yan (Exeter Univ.), G. Salmoral (Exeter Univ.), M. Scott (Glasgow Univ.), S. McGrane (Glasgow Univ.) "Modelling water-energy-food nexus by a network of agents". In: Benoît Otjacques, Patrik Hitzelberger, Stefan Naumann, Volker Wohlgemuth (Eds.) From Science to Society: The Bridge provided by Environmental Informatics. Adjunct Proceedings of the 31st EnviroInfo conference. Shaker (2017): 85-92.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ESRC review 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact ESRC review conference , where we were able to present some of the very innovative work we are undertaking within WEF nexus within households and the different survey methods used.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Parliamentary conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I attended and presented at Brexit: an academic conference and was able to showcase the work being done in WEFWEBs and other projects to parliamentarians, as a result there will be an outreach event held in Glasgow in March 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description RSS2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact an organised session on indicators for the WEF nexus, with 3 speakers, one from WEFWEBS and two others
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description environmental risk assessment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact to give a presentation around the processes that have been developed within WEFWEBs to generate the visioning scenarios
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description practicioner workshop london 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact we held a workshop to discuss WEF nexus issues as they relate to the resilience of a city's infrastructure. In this case the city was London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description school visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Healthy and sustainable food systems, outreach talk to A-level students in Slough
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description wefwebs stakeholder workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact we have organised two stakeholder workshops, one in Oxford, one in Plymouth, reaching out to civil society and engaging them in debate regarding the local WEF nexus
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description winery case study 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact • Case study in Ridgeview winery. We have studied the potential participants and have couple of visits to the winery to discuss the potential of precision agriculture under their settings. These discussions also help us to frame the workshop (as listed below) where the interaction between precision agriculture and WEF nexus will be studied.
• We are in contact with many key stakeholders related to English wine and UK agriculture industries: English Wine Producers (EWP), United Kingdom Vineyard Association, Harper Adams University, Climate Wine, Ocado, Digital Catapult, Plumpton College, Tesco, Sainsbury, etc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description workshop (Mexico) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Economic development and social welfare under pressure: Climate change impacts on water resources. During the workshop I briefly presented our WEFWEBs project as well as some studies for integrated land and water management and under changing climatic conditions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016