The 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 quality and environmental systems
Water quality, agricultural conservation, nutrient management
Maria Librada Chu
Soil and water resources engineering
Computational and physical electronics
Ecohydrology, drought, climate, food-energy-water nexus
Biochemistry and hydrology
Plant physiology & ecology
Rivers, process sedimentology, fluid dynamics, and morphodynamics
Chemical contaminants and pollution
ILLINOIS RESEARCH CENTERS
ONGOING GRANTS & GRANT OPPORTUNITIES
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