Water to Food represents the communication strategy of the ‘Coping with water scarcity in a globalized world (CWASI)’ project, a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC-2014-CoG, project 647473) and led by Prof. Francesco Laio @ Politecnico di Torino, Italy.
Water To Food aims at disseminating the research results obtained since 2015 from CWASI. The latter research project has relevantly contributed to the literature and quantitative results about the issue of water scarcity and food production and trade.
There are complex relationships among the factors driving water demand for food production in time and space, such as climate, agricultural practices, demographic changes, and market dynamics.
Therefore, among its many goals, CWASI primarily targeted:
The research has been conducted by merging ideas, concepts, theories and methodologies from Hydrology, Sustainable Development, Economics, Complexity Theory, Climate Change and Nutritional Sciences, Geopolitics and Agronomics, and Renewable Energy. Thus, our team is a melting pot of hydrologists, economists, engineers and physicists, all sharing one common mission:
Full Professor and Principal Investigator
Francesco Laio is a Full Professor in Hydrology at Politecnico di Torino. He holds a degree in Environmental Engineering (from Politecnico di Torino) and a Ph.D. in Water Engineering (from Politecnico di Milano). He was recently appointed as Director of the Department of Environmental, Land, and Infrastructure Engineering at Politecnico di Torino. His scholarly activities are documented by more than 150 publications, including 95 papers in ISI peer-reviewed international journals, and a book published by Cambridge University Press. In the past few years, he has served as the coordinator of 11 national and international research projects (including a FIRB project and an ERC Consolidator Grant) for a total budget of 2.2 M€.
Stefania Tamea is an Associate Professor in Hydrology at Politecnico di Torino. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Water Engineering (2007) and she has been working at the Princeton University (Princeton, USA) and at Politecnico di Torino, where she has now a position as Associate Professor. Her work focuses on the water resources used for agriculture and food production, on virtual water and international food trade, on sustainability, and the nexus between water and food security. Her scientific activity is documented by 25 papers in international ISI journals, 3 book chapters, and several invited speeches in national and international symposiums. In 2015, she has been appointed “Junior Marchi Lecturer” by the Gruppo Italiano Idraulica.
Hydraulics & Mechanics
Luca Ridolfi is a Full Professor in Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics at Politecnico di Torino. In this same university, he chaired the Department of Hydraulics, Transports, and Civil Infrastructures coordinated the Ph.D. School in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has been responsible for several scientific projects, funded by national and international agencies. He led the publishing of more than 200 papers published in international refereed journals and he co-authored two scientific published by Cambridge University Press and Birkhauser.
Water-Food Nexus, Climate Change
Marta Tuninetti is a researcher in the field of water resources and food security. She holds her Ph.D. from Politecnico di Torino (2018). At present, she is a post-doc researcher at Politecnico di Torino. She was a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Virginia and at the University College London. Her research project focuses on the study of the linkage between food production and water resources through the virtual water perspective. Currently, she is working on the future dynamics of agricultural international trade, focusing on national water scarcity and productivity potentials.
Economics and Policy
Elena Vallino holds a degree in Political Sciences at the University of Torino and a Master in International and Development Economics at the University of Applied Study in Berlin, Germany. She completed a Ph.D. in Economics of Complex Systems at the University of Torino, spending periods as Visiting Scholar at the Centre of Research in the Economics of Development (CRED), University of Namur, Belgium, and at the Arizona State University, USA. She worked for Italian NGOs and for the German Technical Cooperation Agency in Indonesia. She has published scientific articles in the fields of development and environmental studies. She currently works on economic water scarcity in food production and trade and on the socio-economic dimensions of the drivers of virtual water trade.
Guido Chiarotti is a scientist, a publisher, and a management consultant. He is currently the executive managing director at MAX, a recently established European Centre of Excellence (ECoE) on High-Performance Computing (HPC) aimed to foster the EU leadership in materials modeling, simulations, discovery, and design. He is also a research associate at the Institute of Complex Systems (ISC-CNR) in Rome, where he is involved in research activity on Economic Complexity. He is also a publisher of Scienza Express, an Italian scientific dissemination publishing house. He was the CEO of Spin s.r.l. for over 20 years, one of the first companies to introduce the internet in the Italian market. Previously he was a researcher for over 15 years at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, working in condensed matter computational physics with a focus on high-pressure phenomena, semiconductors, super-ionic materials, and surface physics.
Complexity and Development
Carla Sciarra is a Research Associate. She recently obtained a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Politecnico di Torino. Her research focuses on using statistical methods and complex systems’ theories to unfold the dynamics of competition, innovation, and sustainability, which define water use at the local and world level. During her career, she has worked in the international research environment at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in 2016 and the University of California in Berkeley in 2019, gaining expertise in water – food – epidemiology nexus.
Benedetta Falsetti is a Ph.D. student at Politecnico of Torino. She graduated in Environmental Economics from the Department of Economics and Statistics at the University of Turin with the thesis: “Water Stress and relationship between virtual water consumption and economic growth”. During her Master’s, she was a Visiting Student at the Department of Development and Environmental Studies in Olomouc, in the Czech Republic. She currently investigates the virtual water trade in relation to its economic value from a global perspective. Moreover, she works on the physical and economic determinants of the topology of the virtual water trade network.
Elena De Petrillo is a Postgraduate Student at Politecnico di Torino. With her B.Sc’s thesis “Spatial Analysis of the Agricultural Water Footprint with free data visualization software” in 2018 she started to investigate the spatial variability of the water footprint and the facets of the virtual water trade network. Since then, she continued working on the Water To Food project with three scholarships. She has recently completed her Master of Science in Environmental Engineering with a thesis on the spatial resolution of Virtual Water Trade at the company’s scale and she will soon start her Ph.D. in Hydraulic Engineering at Politecnico di Torino, dedicating her research to the water-food nexus.
Research Fellow in Water and Economics
Research Fellow in Environmental Sustainability
Research Fellow in History and Geography of Water Use
Research Fellow in Agriculture and Climate Extremes
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