The Project Mizu is an independent research group led by Agriculture and Water industry professionals studying at Stanford Graduate Schools of Business, Sustainability, and Engineering. As a crop trader in Kansas, water engineer in Yokohama, and forestry fi nancier in Nairobi, each of the lead authors experienced firsthand that the impact of climate change is most acutely felt through water stress and shifting weather patterns. Such risks are crucial for agriculture, which accounts for 70% of our freshwater use. As much as climate mitigation is urgent, we are committed to accelerating adaptation by responding to unprecedented shifts in weather patterns and water availability. Many share the same concerns. Over the summer of 2023, we formed an interdisciplinary team of 30+ water engineers, agriculture experts, management consultants, and investment professionals to map the adaptation solutions in water and agriculture. We are fortunate to be advised by the world’s leading researchers and practitioners.
World’s First Playbook for Catalysts
This report distills over one thousand hours of research and interviews into a “playbook” that showcases breakthrough opportunities and winning strategies. Academic research, case studies, technology reports, and public guidelines are rarely designed as digestible, solution-to-system playbooks for catalysts such as entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and changemakers. We aspire to build a common language to link diverse disciplines. To fill this gap, we interviewed experts and stakeholders. This report shares 1) a conceptual framework, 2)a solution taxonomy, 3) breakthrough opportunities, and 4) future scenarios to offer a practical overview. Our goal is to inform direct stakeholders, such as farmers, policymakers, and advisors, while inviting more entrepreneurs, investors, and changemakers to this multi-billion-dollar innovation whitespace. We need to sustain agriculture to feed 10 billion people, and update the multi-trillion-dollar agricultural supply chain. To our knowledge, this is one of the world’s first attempts in the water-agriculture adaptation space to map concrete solutions globally and to develop a comprehensive “playbook” for catalysts.
Out of Water, Out of Food. We Need a Playbook to Adapt Ahead of Time.
Our recommendations are not just about immediate adaptability and resilience. They are bout envisioning and building a future where sustainable water-agriculture practices are the norm, not the exception. We must combine system-level solutions to ensure balanced demand meets resilient and equitable supply, mitigating the impact of climate change. We hope this playbook will create an entry point to this complex field of the Water-Ag Nexus.