The world population has surpassed 8 billion and is projected to increase further by 2030. While this may be exciting to some, it also spotlights the challenges humankind faces in our sustainable development for the future.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 17 million households were impacted by food insecurity in 2022. With communities growing larger, more food and resources are needed to sustain them. To prepare for this population increase, engineers are being urged to create innovative solutions to fight food insecurity in communities around the globe.

In this ASCE Interchange Live, Isaya Kisekka, professor of agro-hydrology and agricultural water management at UC Davis and director of the UC Davis Agricultural Water Center, joined ASCE to discuss how to fight food insecurity through sustainable agriculture.

“Historically, the way agriculture has been practiced was trying to maximize yield as a function of inputs. So economic returns were the primary driver,” Kisekka said.

“In sustainable agriculture the concept is that we try to meet our present needs without hindering future generations to meet those needs. That means we have to practice agriculture in a way that is environmentally friendly, economically viable, but also socially just.

There are several innovative practices already being used to produce crops sustainably while optimizing existing resources such as regenerative agriculture, vertical farming, and circular agriculture. Kisekka also discusses the key role that civil engineers play in creating the structures needed for these concepts.

To view all ASCE Interchange episodes, visit ASCE’s YouTube channel.