Iceland is particularly interested in the intersection of water stress and human security. He recently authored a Commentary, "Water Stress Helps Drive Conflict and Migration," that tackles the intersection of water stress and conflict, and argues that despite development we remain vulnerable to the age-old problem of drought.
As people gain in affluence, they use more water—but world supply isn't growing. We aren't helpless: we can identify water-efficient crops, expand water storage infrastructure, raise water prices, and, most of all, transform the food system. "Solving the problem of agriculture is the first thing you need to do in solving the water puzzle," Charles says.
There may be tradeoffs, but the water challenge is not insurmountable.