Water, Energy and Biomass are each recognized to be critical resources in their own right.
What is more poorly recognized and understood is the interplay and interdependency between them. Unless and until we understand this Nexus, and develop the ability to better manage its complexity, sustainable resource management will not be possible and disaster will result.
We are making progress on the Energy front because there are alternatives that we can pursue. However, there are no alternatives to Water or Biomass, so a different approach is needed.
To achieve this we must develop a deeper understanding of the Water-Energy-Biomass Nexus – The WEB Nexus.
The Sun’s Energy, captured as Biomass can still be accessed today by combustion of that Biomass or as we prefer to call it “fossil fuels”.
This is the basis of the most fundamental Cycle of Life: In the presence of Water, the Sun provides Energy to create Biomass. Biomass is formed by assimilating nutrients to produce living organisms of all kinds. Biomass in the form of fecal waste or dead organisms decomposes to produce nutrients again. This is Nature’s “Circular Economy”.
This is also the essence of the Water-Energy-Biomass (WEB) Nexus – Water and (the Sun’s) Energy create Biomass, which is just stored Energy. Depending on the state of that biomass; coal, zooplankton, corn or corned beef, it can be utilized to produce heat, catfish, cattle, cream or human beings.