VANCOUVER, Wash. – Deepti Singh, an assistant professor of climatology at Washington State University Vancouver, is part of a team of researchers reporting this week in Science Advances that India can improve nutrition and save water by replacing rice with other cereal crops.

Singh, who officially joined WSU last month, provided climate data and analysis for determining the water requirements of the crops in the study while she was a post-doc at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Singh studies climate change and variability in different regions with a focus on agriculture and human health.

For the Science Advances paper, she and her colleagues found that replacing rice with alternatives like maize, finger millet, pearl millet, and sorghum can reduce water demand by one-third and provide more protein, zinc,and iron with only a modest decrease in calories. Columbia University’s Earth Institute has more on the study.