In the coming years, it may not be fuel or even food that is the world’s most precious and valued resource — it may be water.
The number of people who live in areas with water scarcity is expected to increase from 1.6 billion today to 2.8 billion by 2025, according to the World Bank. In order to meet the water shortage challenges and mitigate the anticipated impacts of climate change, Virginia Tech has hired a “cluster” of new faculty that can tackle water issues head-on.
The faculty members from a number of different colleges will complement Virginia Tech’s existing water science expertise by exploring interdisciplinary subjects as diverse and complex as water itself, including the effects of climate change on agriculture, management of water and natural resources, transport of chemicals to surface water and groundwater, and development of decision-support tools to mitigate the negative impacts of human activities.
Seven faculty members have been hired in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Natural Resources and Environment as part of the cluster.
“These new positions will effectively integrate our research, education, and Extension programs and allow us to conduct interdisciplinary programs by bridging water science and engineering with social sciences to more effectively address global water issues,” said Saied Mostaghimi, associate dean of research and graduate studies in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.