What's the Future of Earth's Water Supply?
The global water cycle is tied closely to climate change, agricultural practices, land use, and the environment—sometimes through complex, multi-way interactions. NSF and USDA together have awarded $25 million in research grants to find out what this means for the sustainbility of Earth’s water resources.
Through their joint Water Sustainability and Climate (WSC) program—a partnership between NSF and USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)—the two agencies awarded 26 new grants totaling $25 million this year (this is the third set of awards for WSC). Some of the topics addressed by the grants include:
- Climate change effects on connected agriculture and water systems
- Effects of agricultural decision making and adaptive management on food security
- Water management for regions transitioning from abundance to scarcity
- Water quality and supply in China and Ecuador
- Land use and hydrology in the Panama Canal watershed
- Water sustainability in an arid snow-fed system in the Southwest
- Decision processes, climate change, and water resources in the agricultural Midwest
“The mounting pressures of population increases, land use changes, and climate change underscore the need to understand the role of water,” said Tom Torgersen, lead WSC program officer for NSF. According to NIFA director Sonny Ramaswamy, the new grants are “critically important to our understanding of how the water system is affected by external factors, which ultimately helps farmers and rural communities prepare for future challenges."
- Read the full NSF press release and see awarded grants
- Learn more about WSC funding opportunities from NSF and USDA/NIFA