A framework for modelling the complexities of food and water security under globalisation
Abstract. We present a new framework for modelling the complexities of food and water security under globalisation. The framework sets out a method to capture regional and sectoral interdependencies and cross-scale feedbacks within the global food system that contribute to emergent water use patterns. The framework integrates aspects of existing models and approaches in the fields of hydrology and integrated assessment modelling. The core of the framework is a multi-agent network of city agents connected by infrastructural trade networks. Agents receive socio-economic and environmental constraint information from integrated assessment models and hydrological models respectively and simulate complex, socio-environmental dynamics that operate within those constraints. The emergent changes in food and water resources are aggregated and fed back to the original models with minimal modification of the structure of those models. It is our conviction that the framework presented can form the basis for a new wave of decision tools that capture complex socio-environmental change within our globalised world. In doing so they will contribute to illuminating pathways towards a sustainable future for humans, ecosystems and the water they share.