SUSTAINABLE WATER, FOOD, & ENERGY

14-w-balanceThe world’s water, energy and food systems are tightly linked. Water is needed to extract energy and generate power; energy is needed to treat and transport water; and both water and energy are needed to grow food. Governments and corporations have realized that we are entering a time frame when all three of these vital resources will come under a great deal of pressure. This “perfect storm” is defined by the prediction that globally there will be a simultaneous 50% increase in energy demand, 50% increase in food demand, and 30% increase in water demand by 2030. Organizations, such as the United Nations have been facilitating dialogues on a global scale in order to connect experts across multiple regions of the globe.

 

Areas of Research Focus

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has recognized this global need and understands that overcoming this global challenge requires a coordinated combination of:

  • educating policy makers;
  • working closely with technology developers; and
  • connecting with funding resources.

We develop approaches to address the energy, agricultural, and industrial needs of the state of Illinois. Our approach is designed to be modular in nature — a template that can be adapted to the localized needs of other regions across the globe. Our systems-based methodology leverages thought-leading centers that have been established at Illinois. These centers coordinate their activities and realize that science-based decision-making requires the ability to not only manipulate big data but also to act as a warehouse and curator to primary and secondary information that can be used to monitor trends, predict future scenarios, and validate proposed solutions.

We welcome the opportunity to cooperate and collaborate with governments and corporations in developing, testing, and validating solutions to this nexus.

Water Scholars at Work

(click to enlarge images and view as a slide show; more scholars’ studies profiled on each of the Areas of Excellence landing pages)

Researchers

Amy W. Ando

Amy W. Ando

Economics and water resources

Carl Bernacchi

Carl Bernacchi

Biofuels and plant biology

Rabin Bhattarai

Rabin Bhattarai

Hydrology and water resources engineering

Laura Christianson

Laura Christianson

Water quality and environmental systems

Reid Christianson

Reid Christianson

Water quality, agricultural conservation, nutrient management

Maria Librada Chu

Maria Librada Chu

Soil and water resources engineering

Richard Cooke

Richard Cooke

Biological engineering

Roland Cusick

Roland Cusick

Environmental engineering

Paul Davidson

Paul Davidson

Agricultural and biological engineering

James Eden

James Eden

Computational and physical electronics

Ben Gramig

Ben Gramig

Agriculture, environment, irrigation

USDA ERS profile coming soon!

Lab page

Kaiyu Guan

Kaiyu Guan

Ecohydrology, drought, climate, food-energy-water nexus

Jeremy Guest

Jeremy Guest

Environmental engineering

Prasanta Kalita

Prasanta Kalita

Hydrology and water quality

Madhu Khanna

Madhu Khanna

Economics and policy

Andrew Leakey

Andrew Leakey

Plant physiology & ecology

Helen Nguyen

Helen Nguyen

Environmental engineering

Gary Parker

Gary Parker

Rivers, process sedimentology, fluid dynamics, and morphodynamics

Michael J. Plewa

Michael J. Plewa

Biology and toxicology

Cameron Pittelkow

Cameron Pittelkow

Water quality, environmental systems

Rob Sanford

Rob Sanford

Environmental microbiology and hydrogeology

Ashlynn Stillwell

Ashlynn Stillwell

Water resources engineering

Al Valocchi

Al Valocchi

Hydrology

Zhenxing Zhang

Zhenxing Zhang

Hydrology

Linduo Zhao

Linduo Zhao

Biogeochemistry

FIND A WATER SCHOLAR

 

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