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Grand Challenges: Global FEWture Alliance

Transformative Food-Energy-Water Solutions to Ensure Community Resilience in a Changing Climate

Grant Type: Institutional Grant
Topics: Climate Change; Food, Energy, and Water; Global Health; Sustainable Development

Grand Challenges Grants Program


Climate change, population growth, and urbanization are crippling global food, energy, and water (FEW) systems and harming public health, with low-income communities and people of color bearing the heaviest burdens. There are 1.3 billion people worldwide who are food insecure, 2 billion people who lack access to safe drinking water, and 770 million people who lack access to electricity. These challenges will only grow worse over the next 30 years. By 2050, global food production will need to increase by 70%, 5 billion people will live in water-scarce areas, causing global water demand to increase by 55%, and global energy demand will increase by 50%.

To date, solutions addressing these pervasive challenges have often been siloed and inequitable. Initiatives tend to focus on food production, access to water or access to energy technologies, but often fail to take into consideration all three vital resources along with the required capacity building and educational programs necessary to sustain interventions.

The Global FEWture Alliance—a UMD-based international alliance—will scale technology-based solutions, community-driven capacity building, and experiential education focused at the food-energy-water-climate-health nexus. Through our holistic, interdisciplinary, systems-based approach, we will alleviate food and water insecurity, protect environmental and global public health, and bolster community resilience in a changing climate.

Our integrated, multi-sectoral approach will result in solutions, from local to global scales, that address at least 13 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Here at UMD, the Global FEWture Alliance will advance all four strategic commitments of the new Strategic Plan: taking on humanity’s grand challenges, investing in people and communities, partnering to advance the common good, and reimagining learning.

Global FEWture Alliance Graphic

Team Members:

PI: Amy Sapkota (SPHL), MPower Professor, Environmental Health; Interim Director, Maryland Institute for Applied Enviromental Health; Director, CONSERVE Center of Excellence; and Director of the UMD Global STEWARDS NSF NRT

Dina Borzekowski (SPHL), Research Professor, Behavioral and Community Health Director, Global Health Initiative

Rachel Rosenberg Goldstein (SPHL), Assistant Professor, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health

Rianna Murray (SPHL), Assistant Research Professor and Graduate Director, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health

Amir Sapkota (SPHL), Professor and Chair, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Leena Malayil (SPHL), Assistant Research Professor, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health

Shirley Micallef (AGNR), Associate Professor, Food Safety, Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

Stephanie Lansing (AGNR), Professor, Environmental Science and Technology

Gili Marbach-Ad (CMNS), Director, CMNS Teaching & Learning Center, Research Professor

Xin-Zhong Liang (CMNS), Professor, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science

Jennifer Cotting (ARCH), Director, Environmental Finance Center, School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation

Allen Davis (ENGR), Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering


Yael Mishael, Associate Professor and Director, Center for Sustainability, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Tomer Malchi, Executive Director and Co-Founder, CultivAid

Clive Lipchin, Director of the Center for Transboundary Water Management, Arava Institute

Biraj Karmacharya, Director, Public Health / Community Programs / Global Engagement, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel Hospital

Shree Krishna Dhital, Executive Director, Sanskriti Farms & Research Center

Thurka Sangaramoorthy, Professor, American University and Addis Ababa University


UMD Researchers Help Hyattsville’s Food Forests Look to the ‘FEWture’ (September 22, 2023)

Rising to a Grand Challenge: Food, Energy and Water in a Changing Climate (April 12, 2023)


Global FEWture Alliance International Webinar Series:

Inaugural Global FEWture Alliance Symposium
January 19, 2024

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