Requirements Based Design of Environmental System of Systems: Development and Application of a Nexus Design Framework
|complex systems; ENERGY-FOOD NEXUS; Environmental Sciences; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Environmental Studies; framework; Green & Sustainable Science & Technology; MANAGEMENT; MODEL; nexus; participatory modeling; requirements analysis; Science & Technology - Other Topics; SUSTAINABILITY; system of systems; systems design; water-energy-food; WATER-RESOURCES
Social, technological, and environmental systems have become increasingly interconnected. Integrated problems arising between embedded water, energy, and food systems, require political and strategic cooperation between the actors involved at multiple governance levels. A holistic design approach is needed to guide the inherent decision-making processes. In this article, we developed a normative decision-making framework based on System of Systems Engineering (SoSE) and demonstrated how it can help to foster the cross-sectoral design of solutions to these interlinked water, energy, and food issues. The actors involved in our case study demonstrated a strong interest in collaborating across sectors and participating in the transition to cross-sectoral and sustainable resource management practices. However, experts from science and practice face a high degree of uncertainty when they design solutions to cope with the existing regional problems. As almost all regions of the world are highly integrated in national and global markets, future research might consider conducting larger research projects that also link the design approaches to inter-regional, national, and international levels. Our methodological approach illustrates how such a project could be structured on a regional level and identifies the processes that are important to consider.
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