Water Energy Food nexus

3 Cases on Resource Demand of Urban Farming and Resource Availability in Urban Waters in Amsterdam and Boston

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Urban agriculture lies at the core of the Water Energy Food nexus and seems to provide a partial answer to confront modern trends such as population growth, climate change and resource depletion by increasing food security in cities and enhancing sustainability in an urban realm. The assembly of a WEF nexus framework taught, however, that most work that has been published on the nexus is very hypothetical and that the acquisition of quantitative data poses the biggest challenge in WEF nexus research. The mere absence of data collected at a local level impedes informed decision making on nexus sector integration and feasibility of sustainable solutions. This study attempts to bridge the existing knowledge gap and aimed to contribute to the quantification of the nexus regarding urban agriculture. It investigates the water, energy and nutrient demand of urban farms along with the presence of those resources in urban waters at three case study sites. Demands for water and nutrients (nitrogen & phosphorus) at a greenhouse in Amsterdam and a community farm and a container farm in East-Boston could be met by resources present in urban waters (rainwater and wastewater) in the direct vicinity. Whether enough energy is available to run each of these farms is related to the type of agriculture which is applied.