Decision Science, Support, and Informatics

NREL provides objective, technology-neutral decision support using data, analysis, tools, and market insights to help decision makers address technical, policy, social, and economic barriers to support optimized energy-water-land system integration.

Photo of four people listening to a man explaining data on a computer screen.


NREL offers the following integrated water system decision science, support, and informatics capabilities.

NREL provides analysis and market expertise to comprehensively inform planning, policy, regulatory, and economic development that supports partners’ energy, water, and land use goals.

NREL provides analysis and expertise to foster innovation and inform the design and operation of the physical infrastructure to support integrated energy-water-land systems using its models, tools, and best practices.

For example, NREL studies economic and ecological tradeoffs of agrivoltaic systems, which pair solar with agriculture, creating energy and providing space for crops, grazing, and native habitats under and between panels. Additionally, many jurisdictions treat ground-mounted PV as if they do not allow water to soak into the ground, which is often not the case for elevated PV arrays. NREL’s Photovoltaic Stormwater Management Research and Testing project is developing and disseminating research-based, PV-specific tools and best practices for stormwater management and water quality at ground-mounted PV sites.

NREL supports energy, water, and land system resilience, security, and integration using its models, tools, and expertise. This work helps identify, value, and address system vulnerabilities to inform partner goals.

Emerging Areas

Cross-sectoral energy, water, and land-use behaviors and decision-making


Developing an Equity-Focused Metric for Quantifying the Social Burden of Infrastructure Disruptions, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (2023)

Cost and Energy Metrics for Municipal Water Reuse, ACS ES&T Engineering (2022)

Risk Inequality and the Food-Energy-Water Nexus: A Study of 43 City Adaptation Plans, Frontiers in Sociology (2019)

Power Sector Resilience Planning Guidebook: A Self-Guided Reference for Practitioners, NREL Technical Report (2019)

Resilience Roadmap: A Collaborative Approach to Multi-Jurisdictional Resilience Planning, NREL Technical Report (2019)

Planning a Resilient Power Sector: Ensuring Reliable, Secure, Safe, and Affordable Electricity, NREL Fact Sheet (2019)

Energy-Water Microgrid Opportunity Analysis at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 Facility, NREL Technical Report (2018)

Urban Nexus Science for Future Cities: Focus on the Energy-Water-Food-X Nexus, Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports (2017)

Additional Resources

Clean Energy Solutions Center Resource Library: Energy-Water-Food Nexus


Jennifer Daw

Strategy, Policy, and Implementation Group Manager