Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society | IREES Research

Modeling and Application Research on China’s Water-Energy-Food Nexus | Xiangyan Qian

Xiangyan Qian
Xiangyan Qian

Field | Discipline

  • Environmental policy
  • Climate change
  • Water-energy-food nexus


  • Environmental input-output analysis Policy modeling


As scarce resources, water, energy and food (WEF) are essential for social production, human well-being and sustainable development. The limited water, energy and food resources are gradually posing major challenges to the sustainable development of all countries. How to reveal the complex relationship among the three resources and promote the sustainable development of water, energy and food under the increasingly complex internal and external environment has become an important strategic goal for countries.

However, traditional resource management paradigms are always limited to one or two resources, which often undermine the benefits and sustainability of other resource systems. In fact, there is an inseparable interaction between water, energy and food. In this context, the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (WEF nexus) has emerged as a useful concept to describe and address the defects of traditional resource management paradigms. It can help decision makers to balance the three resources when formulating resource management policies, so as to achieve the optimal trade-off and coordinated development.

China’s WEF faces the problems of unbalanced regional distribution, mismatched supply and demand space, and low utilization efficiency. With the steady development of China's economy, regions and sectors are facing increasing competition pressure on limited WEF resources. And the severe climate change and environmental degradation are also aggravating the security risk of China's WEF. In response to these potential threats, China's 14th Five-Year Plan and 2035 Vision Goals attach great importance to the sustainable use and coordinated development of WEF. Therefore, it has become a realistic need to carry out the cross-factor, cross-sector and cross-region overall management of China's WEF to ensure the healthy development of the society and economy.

To address a series of key scientific issues faced by China's water, energy and food, this study intends to focus on the theme of " Sustainable management of the water-energy-food nexus in China ". The research is mainly carried out from the following three aspects: the overall performance of China's WEF nexus system; the synergies and trade-offs between China's WEF resource management policies; and the coordinated management of China's WEF in the context of international trade. This helps to provide more comprehensive and cost-effective decision-making, monitoring and evaluation for the coordinated management of WEF from sub-national to national and international levels.

Supervision by

  • Promotor: Prof. dr. K.S. (Klaus) Hubacek | Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society - IREES | ESRIG, University of Groningen.
  • Daily supervisor: Dr. Y. (Yuli) Shan | Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society - IREES | ESRIG, University of Groningen.

Contact details:

Energy Academy Europe, Nijeborgh 6, 9747 AG Groningen
E-mail | qxiangy1229

Last modified:29 November 2022 11.36 a.m.