The water-land-food system is essential for sustaining the basic human needs. While the demand for these resources is increasing rapidly, their sustainability has been hampered by a plethora of challenges, including rapid population growth, climate change, land-use change, and land degradation. To attain a sustainable supply and efficiently manage these resources, interactions between all resources and the factors constraining/sustaining them need to be understood. In this chapter, four systems archetypes based or grounded in the systems thinking framework and system dynamics approach were employed to explore and identify the key system drivers, factors, and processes that influence the behaviour and sustainability of water-land-food resources nexus in the Volta River Basin, West Africa. Development of the archetypes centered on a generic causal loop diagram constructed with stakeholders in previous studies capturing the linkages between the population, water system, environmental and socioeconomics. These system archetypes illustrate that the past and the current paradigm of water and land and agricultural production management is unsustainable. The results highlight key areas, which could be useful for the current and future sustainable management, even under uncertain system understanding or deficiencies in quantitative data.
Part of the book: Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences