Proposals sought for inaugural Food-Water-Sustainability grant program

New Center Pivot Irrigation Sprinkler system installed at the Agricultural Research Development and Education Center at Colorado State University

The Colorado Water Center, the School of Global Environmental Sustainability and the Agricultural Experiment Station are announcing a request for proposals for 2019-20 for their first-ever Food-Water-Sustainability competitive grant program.

Jointly funded by the three complementary centers, the program seeks proposals from a broad range of disciplines that target a sustainability challenge at the food-water nexus currently faced by our community, region, country or world. Proposals should also help support the mission and goals of all partner entities through collaboration and creative scholarship.

Driven by a rising global population, rapid urbanization, changing diets and economic growth, demand for food and water resources is increasing around the world. Agriculture is the largest consumer of the world’s freshwater resources, and it is estimated that with a population of 8.3 billion people by 2030, we will need 40 percent more water and 35 percent more food. These resources already face mounting threats, including pollution, climate change impacts, the destruction and degradation of freshwater ecosystems and habitats, and agricultural intensification. Devising effective responses to these major challenges will require a systems-oriented, multidisciplinary approach to reshape the food-water nexus so that it works for all people sustainably. Yet many of the tools and approaches needed have yet to be developed or applied.

The Food-Water-Sustainability Research Team encourages any CSU faculty and staff with established research interests in food, water and sustainability, whose existing or planned research projects will be significantly enhanced by receiving the award, to apply. Applicants must demonstrate the ability and desire to address a relevant challenge through broad-based interdisciplinary research, education and engagement activities. Special consideration will be given to projects that include undergraduate and graduate students as well as post-doc researchers. Proposals are due April 1.

The awarded research team will have the opportunity to accelerate progress in a research area designed to meet global food, water and sustainability challenges, and to engage in the faculty, staff and practitioners of the Colorado Water Center, the School of Global Environmental Sustainability and the Agricultural Experiment Station.

The RFP is open to all CSU faculty and staff in good academic standing. For more information, visit,, and