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DAFNE: Use of a Decision-Analytic Framework to explore the water-energy-food NExus in complex and trans-boundary water resources systems of fast growing developing countries.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DAFNE (DAFNE: Use of a Decision-Analytic Framework to explore the water-energy-food NExus in complex and trans-boundary water resources systems of fast growing developing countries.)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-08-31

Global trends in population growth and rising economic prosperity will increase the demand for energy, food, and water, with more severe impact in fast-growing economies, such as in several African countries. The constraints on water, energy, and food could well hamper economic development, lead to social and geopolitical tensions, and cause lasting environmental damage. DAFNE advocates an integrated and adaptive water resources planning and management approach that explicitly addresses the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus from a novel participatory and multidisciplinary perspective. This includes social, economic, and ecologic dimensions, involves both public and private actors and is socially inclusive, enhances resource efficiency and prevents the loss of ecosystem services in regions where large infrastructures exist or are being built and intensive agriculture is expanding. A decision-analytic- framework (DAF) will be developed to quantitatively assess the social, economic, and environmental impact of expanding energy and food production in complex physical and political contexts, where natural and social processes are strongly interconnected and the institutional setting involves multiple stakeholders and decision-makers. The DAFNE approach will be demonstrated by analysing two cross-boundary case studies, the Zambezi and the Omo-Turkana basins. The WEF nexus will be quantified and analysed as the trade-off between conflicting objectives such as hydropower production vs irrigation, land exploitation vs conservation, etc. The nexus will be translated in economic values and impact on growth, ecosystems, and ecosystem services. DAFNE will allow a better understanding of the WEF nexus and generate and explore alternative planning and management solutions based on the cooperation of public and private stakeholders, which foster the profitable but equitable use of resources without transgressing environmental limits or creating societal and/or stakeholder conflicts.
In the 18 months (19-36), which this progress report refers to, the DAFNE project experienced intensive and productive advancements towards achieving its objectives. DAFNE made significant progress on many fronts. The Decision-Analytic-Framework (DAF) to investigate the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus at the strategic level on the basis of key macro-indicators was successfully implemented and results were presented to the stakeholders in dedicated Negotiation-Simulation-Laboratories (NSL) in both the Zambezi and the Omo-Turkana basins. The WEF model was finalised and tested for both case studies as well as prepared for the final set of simulations that will deliver the decision elements for the final NSL events. The DAF analysis used the future climate and socio-economic scenarios that were designed for the basins to identify multiple efficient pathways for river basin development. The extensive and constructive discussion with the DAFNE stakeholders in the second Negotiation Simulation Lab in Lusaka and Addis Ababa in July 2019 were a unique experience of participatory research and an opportunity to collect the perspectives of the stakeholders on many dimensions of the DAFNE framework, from the assessment indicators to the visualization tools developed to support the Negotiation Simulation Lab. These two tools were particularly appreciated and assessed as innovative and useful in comparison with previous experiences the stakeholders had in other projects that also addressed integrated water resources management.
DAFNE brings together the current state-of-the-art from diverse disciplines and combine it in a multidimensional and multidisciplinary framework to address the challenges associated with the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus in complex, transboundary river basins in rapidly growing African countries. This will make possible demonstrating the power of the DAFNE decision-analytic framework and water-energy-food integrated model to identify best nexus governance options and to efficiently inform the decision-making process to achieve a sustainable development
To achieve this goal, DAFNE is going beyond the current state-of-the-art of integrated water resources management by (1) explicitly integrating in the decision-analytic-framework multiple models, which provide a detailed characterization of the WEF nexus, including its feedback components; (2) quantifying the impacts of future hydroclimatic, socio-economic, and institutional scenarios on the WEF components and on the interests of the local stakeholders; (3) identifying robust pathways (i.e. temporal sequence of development actions) via direct negotiation with stakeholders and decision makers in order to promote growth that is socially inclusive and environmentally and economically sustainable.
In this second reporting period, the tools concerning (1) and (2) were developed and used to provide the stakeholders results on which they debated during the face-to-face session of the Negotiation Simulation Lab. a unique experience of participatory research and an opportunity to collect the perspectives of the stakeholders on many dimensions of the DAFNE framework, from the assessment indicators to the visualization tools developed to support the Negotiation Simulation Lab (NSL). This event was particularly appreciated and assessed as innovative and useful in comparison with previous experiences the stakeholders had in other projects that also addressed integrated water resources management.The innovative DAFNE framework with its suite of modelling tools will be now used in the remaining year to finalise the results and provide the stakeholders with a set of options about development pathways that explicitly include their views as resulting from the NSL
Example of ZRB Pareto approximate trade-offs of efficient pathways
DAFNE Geo-portal dashboard for the Omo-Turkana river basin with indicator performances
Example of Stakeholders using the Multi Perspective Visualisation Tool during a ZRB NSL session
The DAFNE logo