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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-197
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-197
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 18 May 2020

Submitted as: research article | 18 May 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

A Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approach for Conducting Trade-off Analysis: Morocco’s Phosphate Industry in the Khouribga Region

Sang-Hyun Lee1, Amjad T Assi2, Bassel T. Daher2, Fatima E. Mengoub3,4, and Rabi H. Mohtar2,5,6 Sang-Hyun Lee et al.
  • 1Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan
  • 2Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2117, USA
  • 3Policy Centerfor the New South, Suncity Complex, Building C, Angle of Addolb Boulevard and Albortokal Street, Rabat, Morocco
  • 4Mohammed VI Polytechnic University,Lot 6620, Hay Moulay Rachid 43150, Benguerir, Morocco
  • 5Zachry Departmentof Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3136, USA
  • 6Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

Abstract. The aim of the study is to apply the Nexus approach for conducting trade-off analysis between industrial and agricultural area, thus we developed Water-Energy-Food Nexus-Phosphate (WEF-P) Tool based on integrating the supply chain processes, transportation, and water-energy footprints. This study evaluated the impact of phosphate industry on regional water, energy, and food in Khouribga, the representative phosphate mining area of Morocco using the developed WEF-P Tool. To address the potential impacts on the water supply in agricultural areas, the field data of processes (from mining to transportation) were collected and applied to possible supply chain scenarios according to type of product (phosphate rock, slurry). Analysis of positive impacts of dynamic management suggest seasonal management of phosphate production to allow less phosphate production during the irrigation season (increasing available water for agriculture) and greater phosphate production during wetter seasons (when water demand for agricultural production is less). Additionally, the transport of raw phosphate as slurry through a pipeline increases the total water required to 34.6 million m3. This is a 76 % increase over the business as usual scenario (BAU)). The shift to slurry also produces an energy savings of nearly 80 % over BAU, which requires 204.0 million litre of fossil fuel, as compared to only 40.5 million litre needed for slurry transport. During May to July, the dry or water scarce season when irrigation is needed, total ground water use decreased from 5.8 to 5.2 million m3. Dynamic management of the phosphate industry can also save 143 MWh of electricity annually, accompanied with a reduction of 117 tons of CO2 emissions. In a changing climate, making water available at the right time and place requires analysis of complex scientific, technical, socio-economical, regulatory, and political issues. The WEF-P Tool can be used to assess user-created scenarios, offering a management-decision aid to effectively ensure more sustainable management of limited resources and increased reliability of water resources for both agricultural and industrial use. This study on the application of WEF Nexus to the Phosphate industry can be a roadmap for other industrial application where trade-offs between the primary resources exist.

Sang-Hyun Lee et al.

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Short summary
Proper water availability for the right place and time in a changing climate requires analysis of complex scientific, technical, socio-economical, regulatory, and political issues. A Water-Energy-Food Nexus-Phosphate (WEF-P) Tool, based on integrating the supply chain processes, transportation, and water-energy footprints could assess the various scenarios to offer an effective means of ensuring the sustainable management of limited resources to both agricultural area and phosphate industry.
Proper water availability for the right place and time in a changing climate requires analysis...
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