Water and food

Global challenges around food production and water quantity and quality are increasing. Land degradation and too much, too little, too dirty water are influencing not only agricultural production, but also livelihoods and biodiversity globally. The Water and Food team researches solutions to sustainably increase the value of land and water resources for food production and improve the quality of freshwater ecosystems. We develop strategies to combat challenges of water and food security in the light of climate change and biodiversity loss. Our team of researchers have various scientific and cultural backgrounds, enabling a multi-disciplinary approach in finding more sustainable solutions. With part of the team based in Uganda and Spain, we work on water and food systems around the globe. We offer core expertise to assist governments, agencies and businesses in the following themes:

  • Smart agricultural water management: making the most efficient use of green (rainfall) and blue (irrigation) water in order to produce enough food for all with the minimal environmental and social impacts, through the assessment, validation and adoption of integrated water-related innovations
  • Deltas under pressure: Understanding how in a delta context, where land meets water, and with ever changing rural-urban linkages, adaptive delta management can take place. Understanding the complex current situation and using a systematic approach with vision, strategies and scenarios, to explore the future situation and transition pathways towards that uncertain future.
  • Integrated modelling and the water, energy, food Nexus: understanding the intersectoral relationship between water and food production systems including the pivotal role of climate change among other factors to identify measures for maintaining and enhancing food security now and in the future
  • Sustainable land and soil management: contributing to resilient agro-ecosystems by fostering land stewardship and sustainable farming through integrated approaches and multistakeholder engagement.
  • Salinization in agriculture: understanding and identifying salinization in different ecological contexts, scales, and temporal levels. These scales range from global to field level, while the temporal level ranges from historical to future levels. Next to this, also dealing with salinization solutions in water and soil management are considered at the field level to adapt to its effects.
  • Freshwater ecology: developing scientific knowledge that supports water managers and policy makers in restoration of stream, lake and wetland ecosystems, monitoring and assessment of ecological water quality, and bioremediation applications.

Meet the team

Meet the members of Water and Food