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Nexus Tools Platform

an interactive platform for intercomparison of existing Environmental Models

Integrated Resources Management (Nexus Approach)

As global population and incomes rise, the demand for both food and water is expected to grow by more than 50% by 2050. At the same time, agriculture already causes significant stress on the quantity and quality of soils and freshwater resources worldwide which leads to land degradation and ecosystem deterioration.

Those challenges require sustainable long term solutions which can be achieved with an integrated management of environmental resources or, in other words, a Nexus Approach. As a cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Goals, the nexus perspective focuses on the synergies between sectors allowing the minimization of trade-offs, increase of resource use efficiency, and improvement of environmental policy & governance.

As a leading expert, UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources specifically focuses on Water-Soil-Waste Nexus. For example, the Safe Use of Wastewater in Agriculture (SUWA), as a source of vital nutrients and organic materials, is considered as an implementation of it:

Humans produce about 12 m3 of water, 4.5 kg of nitrogen, and 0.6 kg of phosphorus per person per year. A community of 500 can irrigate about a hectare of agricultural land and fertilise five to seven hectares. Harvested plants from constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment can provide 12% of a village’s cooking fuel needs.” (United Nations University, 2016)

Nexus Tools Platform (NTP)

To address nexus-oriented research questions or management issues, instead of developing a tool from scratch, it is more efficient to make use of available tools and modify or couple them as required. A Nexus Tools Platform or NTP is a comprehensive database of models related to environmental resource management. It aims to provide detailed information, key features, and parameters provided on respective model websites, literature, or by model developers.

Continually being improved, the NTP allows a user to perform complex analysis and select the most appropriate simulation tools. For example, one can analyze what are the current development trends of environmental models or which software to use in order to assess the impact of wastewater irrigation on groundwater quality. For more information, please check pages with detailed examples, instructions, and related literature.

When you use the information from this website, please cite the publication below:

Mannschatz, T., T. Wolf, and S. Hülsmann. 2016. Nexus Tools Platform: Web-Based Comparison of Modelling Tools for Analysis of Water-Soil-Waste Nexus. Environmental Modelling & Software 76: 137–53. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2015.10.031