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Energy, water, and food resources are highly interdependent. Agricultural irrigation accounts for 84% of global consumptive freshwater use, the food supply chain demands up to 30% of global primary energy use, and roughly 80% of global electricity generation depends on water for cooling (an average of nearly 100 L of water withdrawn per kWh). Improving understanding of the complex interactions of this resource nexus is, therefore, a top priority for human well-being, sustainable development, and policymaking. Here, we present an interactive analysis toolbox, Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water (NeFEW), that synthesizes available global data to enable modeling and analysis of these resources and their interdependencies at the country-level and for user-specified categories and quantities. Sample analyses also presented here include country-specific estimates of water resources required to produce different types of food and energy, energy required per quantity of water or agricultural product supplied, and CO2-equivalent emissions associated with water and energy provision.


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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. © 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 license. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Sustainable Cities and Society, The content of this document may vary from the final published version.