Stanford University
Woman harvesting rice

Food and Water Security

Solving challenges around agriculture, food policy, and water access. 

The challenge of feeding a global population that is expected to reach 11 billion this century looms large. The availability of water—largely used for food production—is also an enormous challenge, made more difficult by the droughts associated with climate change. The School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences is home to much of Stanford’s expertise in this area. With faculty in areas such as sustainable agriculture, land use, economics, geographic analysis, watershed analysis, and ecosystem services and benefits analysis, Stanford brings an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to this tangled but vitally important set of issues.

Meet some of our faculty involved In Food and Water Security

Our faculty are world class teachers and researchers in their fields, leveraging the latest remote-sensing and data science technologies to understand everything from crop yields to groundwater availability and the economics of famine.

David Lobell
David Lobell

Associate Professor of Earth System Science

Rosemary Knight
Rosemary Knight

Professor of Geophysics

Steven Gorelick
Steven Gorelick

Professor of Earth System Science

Rosamond Naylor
Rosamond Naylor

Economist and Professor of Earth System Science

scott fendorf
Scott Fendorf

Professor of Earth System Science

Marshall Burke
Marshall Burke

Economist and Assistant Professor of Earth System Science

How do we manage our freshwater future?

Professor Rosemary Knight explains how amazing new technologies allow us to "see" the groundwater hidden beneath our feet at TEDx Stanford. Watch.

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Learning on the Stanford Educational Farm

 The farm is Stanford’s home for hands-on learning in sustainable agriculture.

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Measuring crop yields from space

News related to food and water security

COP27: How to reduce emissions and still feed the world

Stanford and Princeton co-hosted an official side event at COP27 to present the 2022 Global Carbon Budget, outline approaches to impact at scale at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, and discuss the challenges and solutions for decarbonizing agriculture.

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The cleanest drinking water is recycled

New research shows treated wastewater can be more dependable and less toxic than common tap water sources including rivers and groundwater. (Source: Stanford Engineering)

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There’s room for improvement in a popular climate-smart agricultural practice

Federal subsidies promote planting cover crops to store carbon in agricultural soils, among other benefits, but the approach as currently practiced can reduce yields in the U.S. Corn Belt, researchers find. Their analysis highlights the need to better implement the practice. (Source: Stanford News)

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Beavers will become a bigger boon to river water quality as U.S. West warms

American beaver populations are booming in the western United States as conditions grow hotter and drier. New research shows their prolific dam building benefits river water quality so much, it outweighs the damaging influence of climate-driven droughts.

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