Department Systems Analysis, Integrated Assessment and Modelling

Water, Environment and Food Security

The group ‘Water, Food and Environmental Studies’ conducts integrated analysis and modeling of water, food and environment relations involving natural and social sciences at the local, river basin, national and global level. We also contribute to teaching on related topics at Basel University.

We have two major research focuses:

Modeling water-food-environmental relations

Development and application of qualitative and quantitative/modeling tools to analyze water, food and environment relations.

5 key publications in the field: 

Folberth, C., Yang, H., Gaiser, T., Liu, J.G., Wang, X.Y., Williams, J, Schulin, R. 2014. Effects of ecological and conventional agricultural intensification practices on maize yields in Sub-Sharan Africa under potential climate change. Environmental Research Letter. 9(4): Article Number: 044004. doi: 10.1088/148-9326/9/4/044004.
Liu, J.G., Folberth, C., Yang, H., Röckström, J., Abbaspour, C.K., Zehnder, A.J.B., 2013. A global and spatially explicit assessment of climate change impacts on crop production and consumptive water use. Plos One. 8(2): Artical Number: e57750. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057750.
Folberth, C., Yang, H., Gaiser, T., Abbaspour, K.C., Schulin, R. 2013. Modeling maize yield responses to improvement in nutrient, water and cultivar inputs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Agricultural Systems. 119: 22-34.
Andersson, J., Zehnder, A.J.B., Röckström, J., Yang, H., 2011. Potential impacts of water harvesting and ecological sanitation on crop yield, evaporation and river flow regimes in the Thukela River Basin, South Africa. Agricultural Water Management. 98(7): 1113-1124.
Faramarazi, M., Yang, H., Schulin, R., Abbaspour, C.A., 2010. Modeling wheat yield and crop water productivity in Iran: Implications of agricultural water management for wheat production. Agricultural Water Management. 97(11): 1861-1875.

Policy analysis for decision support

Integrated analysis of water (and land), food and environmental systems for policy development and decision support.

5 key publications in the field:

Zhao, X., Tillotson, M., Yang, Z.F., Yang, H., Liu, J.G., 2016. Reduction and reallocation of water use of products in Beijing. Ecological Indicators, In press.
Yang, H., Pfister, S., Bhaduri, A., 2013. Accounting for a scarce resource: virtual water and water footprint in the global water system. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 5(6): 599-606.
Shi, M.J., Wang, X.J., Yang, H., Wang, T., 2014. Pricing or quota? Solution to water scarcity in oasis regions in China - A case study in the Heihe River Basin. Sustainability. 6: 7601-7620.
Osterwalder, L., Johnson, A., Yang, H., Johnston, R., 2014. Multi-criteria assessment of community-based fluoride-removal technologies for rural Ethiopia. Science of the Total Environment. 488: 536-542.
Faramarzi, M., Yang, H., Mousavi, J., Schulin, R., Binder, C., Abbaspour, K., 2010. Analysis of intra-country virtual water trade strategy to alleviate water scarcity in Iran. Hydrology and Earth Systems Sciences. 14: 1417-1433.


Prof. Dr. Hong YangTel. +41 58 765 5568Send Mail


Prof. Dr. Hong YangTel. +41 58 765 5568Send Mail


Application of a Spatially Explicit Bio-physical Crop Model to Assess Drought Impact on Crop Yield and Crop-Drought Vulnerability in Sub-Saharan Africa.
With continuing population growth, increasing affluence and economic development, and diet change towards more meat consumption, the demand for food will also increase.