About & Team

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 assessment of water footprint data of agriculture that considers technological advancements in agriculture practices.
  • The understanding of the dynamics of virtual water flows associated with the international trade of food.
  • The investigation of this trade, its drivers, and implications for food security.
  • The assessment of sustainable practices in agriculture, nutrition, and economics also in future scenarios.

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:

Taking care of water resources in the global food system

Francesco

Laio

Full Professor and Principal Investigator

Hydrology

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

Associate Professor

Hydrology

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.

Luca

Ridolfi

Full Professor

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.

Marta

Tuninetti

Research Fellow

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 with a focus on national water scarcity and productivity potentials.

Elena

Vallino

Research Fellow

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 the socio-economic dimensions of the drivers of virtual water trade and on inequalities in water distribution.

Guido

Chiarotti

Consultant

Complexity

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.

Carla

Sciarra

Research Fellow

Complexity and Development

Carla Sciarra is a Research Fellow about to defend her Ph.D. at 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 about water – food – epidemiology nexus.

Benedetta

Falsetti

Ph.D. Candidate

Environmental Economics

Benedetta Falsetti is a Ph.D. student at the 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 Oloumuc, 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

Depetrillo

MsC Student

Water Footprint

Elena De Petrillo is a MsC student at Politecnico di Torino. She took her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering at the same university in 2018, with the thesis ” Spatial Analysis of the Agricultural water footprint with free data visualization software”. After the Bachelor’s degree, she got a research grant to continue working on the Water To Food project. She is currently studying the field of Environmental Engineering regarding Natural risks and Civil protection.

Former members:

DIATI Politecnico di Torino
Contact us

Get in touch for any enquiry regarding our research, our department and our Datasets.

info@watertofood.org