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U.S. national water and energy land dataset for integrated multisector dynamics research...

by Jillian Sturtevant, Ryan Mcmanamay, Christopher R Derolph
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Understanding resource demands and tradeoffs among energy, water, and land socioeconomic sectors requires an explicit consideration of spatial scale. However, incorporation of land dynamics within the energy-water nexus has been limited due inconsistent spatial units of observation from disparate data sources. Herein we describe the development of a National Water and Energy Land Dataset (NWELD) for the conterminous United States. NWELD is a 30-m, 86-layer rasterized dataset depicting the land use of mappable components of the United States energy sector life cycles (and related water used for energy), specifically the extraction, development, production, storage, distribution, and operation of eight renewable and non-renewable technologies. Through geospatial processing and programming, the final products were assembled using four different methodologies, each depending upon the nature and availability of raw data sources. For validation, NWELD provided a relatively accurate portrayal of the spatial extent of energy life cycles yet displayed low measures of association with mainstream land cover and land use datasets, indicating the provision of new land use information for the energy-water nexus.