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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FEED Collaborative

The FEED Collaborative is an academic program in sustainable food system education and innovation at Stanford Earth.

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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

Community conservation reserves protect fish diversity in tropical rivers

Freshwater ecosystems across the world have experienced rapid species declines compared to ecosystems on land or in the ocean. New research shows that small, community-based reserves in Thailand’s Salween River Basin are serving as critical refuges for fish diversity.

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Reducing global food system emissions key to meeting climate goals

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from food systems will be vital for reaching climate goals – and it will require coordinated action across sectors and between national governments, according to new research. 

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In a warming world, Cape Town’s ‘Day Zero’ drought won’t be an anomaly

Using new high-resolution simulations, researchers conclude that climate change made the Cape Town ‘Day Zero’ drought five to six times more likely and suggest extreme drought events could become common in southwestern South Africa by the end of the 21st century.

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U.S. corn crop increasingly sensitive to drought

New management approaches and technology have allowed the U.S. Corn Belt to increase yields despite some changes in climate. However, soil sensitivity to drought has increased significantly, according to a new study that could help identify ways to reverse the trend.

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