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Transforming Agriculture in a Water-Scarce World

PLOS Water’s Newest Call for Papers

In a globally changing climate, precipitation patterns are becoming more difficult to predict across the world, and water scarcity may increase in many regions. 10% of the currently suitable area for major crops and livestock production is expected to become climatically unsuitable. With these worrying trends, how are we going to feed a growing population without irreversibly damaging our planet’s ecosystems?  

These are questions that drive our newest call for papers in PLOS Water. Tackling water scarcity, food and nutrition security simultaneously will require a systemic and transformational approach in the way water is used to support agriculture. Open Science and inclusive research practices will be essential for ushering in sustainable innovations in the sector that can lead to lasting positive change.  

“Reasons for water scarcity vary, including declining aquifer storage, declining surface water baseflows or storage, changes in rainfall patterns, reduced quality of available water, and/or addition demands on limited water supplies. Agricultural water availability is complex as this resource is shared amongst users, and water is a cyclic system impacted by diverse variables and scales. Clearly, system approaches with transdisciplinary solutions are needed given the potential threat that water scarcity has on agriculture and food supply and its complex interaction with other users and systems.” says Kati Migliaccio, one of PLOS Water’s Section Editors who will help to curate the collection. 

We welcome contributions from all sectors impacted by this topic who play a role in preparing our food chains for a drier future. This includes articles about social-technological innovations, integrated cropping systems, water resource management and governance, and broader environmental impacts. We welcome new insights and approaches from field to global scale, from rural and urban environments.  

A list of topics and instructions for submitting your manuscript can be found here. Submissions will be open until March 5, 2023.  

  • Alex Godoy-Faundez, Associate Professor and Director of the Sustainability Research Centre, Universidad del Desarrolllo 
  • Cameron Holley, Professor and Head of School for the School of Law, Society and Criminology at the University of New South Wales.
  • Kati Migliaccio, Professor and Chair of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Florida 
  • Petra Schmitter, Principal Researcher on Agriculture Water Management, International Water Management Institute

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