Manara - Qatar Research Repository
10.1016_j.spc.2024.02.017.pdf (5.76 MB)

Bridging Qatar's food demand and self-sufficiency: A system dynamics simulation of the energy–water–food nexus

Download (5.76 MB)
journal contribution
submitted on 2024-03-20, 10:16 and posted on 2024-03-20, 10:17 authored by Haya Talib Shubbar, Furqan Tahir, Tareq Al-Ansari

The food sector in Qatar is confronted with formidable challenges due to its harsh environmental conditions. Striving for total food self-sufficiency in such an environment would inevitably exert pressure on the energy and water sectors. This heightened demand for energy and water translates into increased costs and escalates environmental impacts. Consequently, this study embarks on an in-depth analysis of food production within the context of Qatar's energy-water-food nexus, aiming to demonstrate how varying degrees of food self-sufficiency may impact the demand on Qatar's water and energy sectors, as well as on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Moreover, this study demonstrates to what extent specific subsystems within the nexus can be modified to enhance sustainability. An energy-water-food nexus is meticulously crafted within the proposed framework to elucidate the intricate interdependencies among these sectors, incorporating pertinent external variables. These interconnections are then transmuted into a system dynamics model (SDM), facilitating a nuanced exploration of potential transformations and their ripple effects. Furthermore, a life-cycle thinking approach explicitly tailored to Qatar was implemented to estimate GHG emissions accurately. Four distinct scenarios are rigorously examined using the SDM, spanning from a status quo perspective to ambitious transitions toward full food self-sufficiency. The findings of the scenarios indicate that scenario 4, which partially provides the country with its food demands locally using desalinated water, treated wastewater, and groundwater and satisfies 20 % of its energy demand from solar energy, is the most ideal with an annual 5.36 × 1010 kWh/year energy consumption, 1.73 × 1012 l/year water demand, and 3.26 × 1010 kg CO2 eq./year emissions. The outcomes underscore the imperative for prioritizing less energy-intensive resources to mitigate overall energy consumption. Additionally, achieving an optimal national scenario necessitates a judicious equilibrium between food imports and domestic production.

Other Information

Published in: Sustainable Production and Consumption
See article on publisher's website:


Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2024

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Science and Engineering - HBKU

Usage metrics

    College of Science and Engineering - HBKU



    Ref. manager