The sustainable delivery of resources, including fresh water, energy (fossil fuel, solar, geothermal, wind) and food is the foundation for stable and secure social, economic and political systems around the world. Maintaining resource availability on a local, regional, and global scale is challenged by an uncertain and changing climate, growing populations, and an expanding economy.

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories address these issues in various combinations in applied science and research projects around the United States and the world. These projects are aimed to manage the interdependent development of water, energy and food systems within sustainable ecological boundaries.

Knowledge and data on water, energy, and food systems are multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary. Collaboration with many experts across many fields is crucial for a full-systems understanding of interactions, interdependencies, feedbacks, and long-term consequences of remediation or management approaches. Collaboration enables transparency and cross-disciplinary dialogue. Stakeholder-driven projects give ownership to, and enable buy-in from, the stakeholders. Management actions emerge from the bottom up.

Portal to access, visualize and interact with water availability, cost and projected future use data.

Integration of a water supply constraint into the long-term transmission planning of the Eastern, Western and Texas Interconnections.

An integrated assessment software tool developed to calculate the potential performance, location, and cost characteristics with a national CO2 storage program utilizing geologic saline formations.

Analysis of the energy-water nexus for the twenty-one Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies.

Developing tools to optimize the U.S. hydropower fleet’s power and environmental performance.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has funded Sandia National Laboratories to develop a decision support tool that aids BLM’s role of sustainably managing water resources in Southeast New Mexico in light of increasing water demand for oil and gas extraction.

Improving predictive understanding of climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (IAV) modeling.

Models to support collaborative planning and management exercises on the Rio Grande.

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