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

Riverfront forest restoration can deliver outsized benefits

Analysis reveals how restoring relatively narrow forest buffers could substantially improve regional water quality and carbon storage in Costa Rica and elsewhere. Such changes could have outsized benefits for vulnerable populations that rely on rivers for their water supply. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

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As Colorado River wanes, water supplies and ecosystems hang in the balance

A study analyzes water transactions that leave water in the river, and shows how they could be scaled up to avert cuts for major water users while supporting imperiled ecosystems. (Source: Water in the West)

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Q&A: Harnessing the power of nature to address water and climate challenges

A Stanford water policy expert discusses how investments in nature could simultaneously help states bolster water supplies and achieve their climate goals. (Source: Stanford News)

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Extreme heat's impact on labor

Few regulations exist to protect laborers from increasingly frequent extreme heat events. Stanford experts explain extreme heat’s impacts on workplace risks, marginalized communities, and the economy. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

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