Food-Energy-Water Initiatives

Research addressing links among food, energy and water (FEW) issues is a top priority for WSU and major funding agencies.  In response to this emerging research priority area, the Center for Environmental Research Education and Outreach (CEREO), the State of Washington Water Research Center (SWWRC), the Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources (CSANR), the WSU Office of Research, and other partners regularly host workshops and other events to identify and energize high-priority FEW research initiatives at WSU.

2nd Tri-State FEW Workshop | 23-24 October 2017 | Hermiston, OR

2nd Tri-State Workshop for Food-Energy-Water Collaboration in the Pacific Northwest. On 23-24 October 2017, Oregon State University, Washington State University, and University of Idaho will convene a second workshop to catalyze tri-state research on food-energy-water (FEW) systems. Apply by 18 September 2017.

Tri-State FEW Workshop | 10-11 April 2017 | Coeur d’Alene, ID

The research offices at WSU, University of Idaho and Oregon State University hosted a retreat-style workshop 10-11 April 2017 in Coeur D’Alene, ID. The workshop resulted in interdisciplinary, multi-state United States Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation proposals, and strengthened relationships that will lead to more collaborative work in the future. Some of the specific challenges addressed include how to conserve energy and water in the agricultural and food processing industries, and how to update aging hydropower and food production infrastructure. Researchers also heard about key national research funding programs, including USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, NSF Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems, and Department of Energy Water-Energy programs.

A report on this workshop can be viewed here.

National Science Foundation FEW Workshop | 7-9 October 2015 | Seattle, WA

The three Centers were pleased to be selected to organize one of multiple Food-Energy-Water (FEW) workshops supported by NSF this fall to help identify future opportunities for aligning their proposed $75M investment in FEW research for 2016.

Our 2.5 day workshop, entitled “Food-Energy-Water (FEW) System Trilemma: Balancing Reliance on Technological and Institutional Solutions” brought together 30 academic faculty, agency personnel, and resource managers to identify sustainable pathways for managing the necessary trade-offs associated with FEW systems through an integration of technological and institutional/policy solutions.

As part of this workshop, the Centers along with the Office of Research, hosted an evening banquet reception with workshop attendees and local community members to engage the broader public in FEW issues.  The guest speaker at this event was Paul Roberts, author of the books The End of Oil and The End of Food.

The white paper developed from this workshop can be viewed here.

The $2.1M National Science Foundation grant resulting from this workshop can be viewed here.

WSU FEW Workshop and Seed Grant Awards | 13 May 2015 | Pullman, WA

FEW_workshop_subgroup_edThis one-day workshop provided the WSU community with an interdisciplinary opportunity to identify areas where our environmental researchers can have the greatest impact on FEW issues.  Structured around breakout groups, this workshop helped identify WSU’s research strengths in the context of broader FEW issues and provided a unique opportunity for interested scientists and engineers to collaborate across traditional home disciplines.

Workshop Agenda

Welcome and opening remarks- Stephanie Hampton (link to slides)
FEW nexus in the context of the WSU 120 day study– Chris Keane  (link to slides)
WSU support of FEW initiative- Ron Mittelhammer (link to slides)
Upcoming internal WSU FEW seed and/or planning grants– Stephanie Hampton (link to slides)

A copy of the final workshop agenda and the final summary report of the workshop are now available. 

WSU FEW Seed Grants

Ideas and collaborations initiated during this workshop led to three successful seed grants sponsored by the three Centers, in conjunction with the Office of Research, College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture (VCEA), and the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS)View the 2015 FEW Seed Grant projects and recipients here.