still from CONSERVE video

In the video, a desalination plant chugs along, using up resources and spending lots of money to make fresh water from seawater.

April 5, 2018

Less than one percent of the world's water is fresh water that we can easily use, and demands for water for food production are always increasing as the world's population grows. 

A new animated video called Water, Food and Our World illustrates the fundamental mission of the CONSERVE project using colorful, clever animations to explain the world’s water shortage and to show how this innovative team of scientists are developing new techniques for water reuse and exploring nontraditional irrigation water sources.

These new techniques—and new videos like this one—are being developed by the multi-disciplinary Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food, and Health (CONSERVE) led by Dr. Amy Sapkota, an associate professor in the School of Public Health's Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health (MIAEH). CONSERVE is facilitating the adoption of on-farm solutions that enable the safe use of nontraditional irrigation water on food crops, effectively reducing the nation’s agricultural water challenges that are exacerbated by climate change.



Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute for Food and Agriculture, the CONSERVE project has a significant educational component that includes the development of curricula for university classrooms and K-12 educators on water reuse, food safety, food production and environmental sustainability. This video was created by the Learning Games Lab Consultants and New Mexico State University, working with CONSERVE Design Summit participants. It is the first example of the kinds of materials that experts in “active learning” education and game development at New Mexico State University will create. Together with the University of Delaware, they will also develop open source interactive modules for use in classrooms across the country. 

CONSERVE is centered in the School of Public Health and also includes experts in UMD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences; A. James Clark School of Engineering; SESYNC (National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center) and a Maryland-based bioinformatics company, Cosmos ID. The team also includes key experts from the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Medicine and the Francis King Carey School of Law; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; the University of Delaware; the University of Arizona; New Mexico State University; the US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS); and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel.

Related Links

CONSERVE Animations

Related People
Amy R. Sapkota