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Megan Konar

Megan Konar
Megan Konar

Administrative Titles

  • William J. and Elaine F. Hall Faculty Fellow
Associate Professor
(217) 244-6493
3212 Digital Computer Laboratory

Primary Research Area

  • Water Resources Engineering and Science

Research Areas

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Megan Konar joined the CEE faculty in fall 2013. She holds a Ph.D. (2012) and an M.S. (2009), both in civil and environmental engineering, from Princeton University, an M.Sc. (2005) in Water Science, Policy, and Management from the University of Oxford, and a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies (2002) from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Konar teaches CEE 350 Water Resources Engineering and CEE 598 Globalization of Water.

Dr. Konar's awards and honors include the Princeton Energy and Climate Scholarship from the Princeton Environmental Institute, the Ford Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the Pre-doctoral Fellowship from the Association for Women in Science, and the Holly A. Cornell Scholarship from the American Water Works Association. She received the NSF CAREER award and AGU Hydrologic Sciences Section Early Career Award in 2019.


  • Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, 2012
  • M.S. Water Science, Policy, and Management, University of Oxford, 2005
  • B.S. Conservation and Resource Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2002

Academic Positions

  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2020-present

Research Interests

  • Networks
  • Food flows
  • Food supply chains
  • Water Footprints
  • Virtual Water Trade
  • Water-Food Nexus

Research Statement

Dr. Konar conducts policy-relevant research that focuses on the intersection of water, food, and trade. Her research is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing from hydrology, environmental science, and economics. To conduct this research, she applies a range of quantitative tools, such as modeling, network analysis, and econometrics. Dr. Konar's research group is motivated by the overarching scientific question: ``What is the relationship between water resources and food supply chains?'' We are interested in understanding how food supply chains impact water use and sustainability, as well as the exposure of agri-food supply chains to water risk, including long-term water stress and shorter-term water hazards. To tackle our overarching research question, we have been working to uncover how water impacts agri-food supply chains, how supply chains impact water use, and their interactions.

Primary Research Area

  • Water Resources Engineering and Science

Research Areas

For more information

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Konar, M., T.P. Evans, M. Levy, C.A. Scott, T.J. Troy, C.J. Vorosmarty, and M. Sivapalan (2016), Water resources sustainability in a globalizing world: who uses the water? Hydrological Processes, Vol 30, Issue 18, pp. 3330-3336, doi: 10.1002/hyp.10843.
  • Konar, M., J.J. Reimer, N. Hanasaki, and Z. Hussein (2016), The water footprint of staple crop trade under climate and policy scenarios, Environmental Research Letters, Vol 11, Issue 3, 035006, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/3/035006.
  • Dang, Q., M. Konar, J.J. Reimer, G. Di Baldassarre, R. Zeng and X. Lin (2016), A theoretical model of water and trade, Advances in Water Resources, Vol 89, pp. 32-41, doi: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2015.12.016.
  • Paterson, W., R. Rushforth, B.L. Ruddell, M. Konar, I.C. Ahams, J.A. Gironas, A. Mijic, and A. Mejia (2015), Water footprint of cities and urban areas: A review and prospects, Sustainability, Vol 7, Issue 7, pp. 8461-8490, doi: 10.3390/su7078461.
  • Jackson, N., M. Konar, and A. Hoekstra (2015), The water footprint of food aid, Sustainability, Vol 7, Issue 6, pp. 6435-6456, doi: 10.3390/su7066435.
  • Troy, T.J., M. Konar, V. Srinivasan, and S. Thompson (2015), Moving sociohydrology forward: A synthesis across studies, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol 19, pp. 3667-3679, doi: 10.5194/hess-19-3667-2015.
  • Marston, L., M. Konar, X. Cai, and T. Troy (2015), Virtual groundwater transfers from overexploited aquifers in the United States, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol 112, No 28, pp. 8561-8566, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1500457112.
  • Dang, Q., X. Lin and M. Konar, (2015), Agricultural virtual water flows within the United States, Water Resources Research, Vol 51, doi:10.1002/2014WR015919.
  • Lin, X., Q. Dang, and M. Konar (2014), A network analysis of food flows within the United States of America, Environmental Science & Technology, Vol 48, Issue 10, pp. 5439-5447, doi: 10.1021/es500471d.
  • Sivapalan, M., M. Konar, V. Srinivisan, A. Chhatre, A. Wutich, C. Scott, J.L. Wescoat, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2014), Socio-hydrology: Use-inspired water sustainability science for the Anthropocene, Earth's Future, doi: 10.1002/2013EF000164.
  • Konar, M. and K.K. Caylor (2013), Virtual water trade and development in Africa, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol 17, pp 3969-3982, doi: 10.5194/hess-17-3969-2013.
  • Konar, M., Z. Hussein, N. Hanasaki, D.L. Mauzerall and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2013), Virtual water trade flows and savings under climate change, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol 17, pp. 3219-3234, doi:10.5194/hess-17-3219-2013.
  • Konar, M., M.J. Todd, R. Muneepeerakul, A. Rinaldo and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, (2013), Hydrology as a driver of biodiversity: Controls on carrying capacity, niche formation, and dispersal, 35th Anniversary Issue of Advances in Water Resources Research, Vol 51, pp. 317-325, doi: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2012.02.009.
  • Dalin, C., S. Suweis, M. Konar, N. Hanasaki and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2012), Modeling past and future structure of the global virtual water trade network, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol 39, Issue 24, L24402, doi: 10.1029/2012GL053871.
  • Konar, M., C. Dalin, N. Hanasaki, A. Rinaldo and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2012), Temporal dynamics of blue and green virtual water trade networks, Water Resources Research, Vol 48, Issue 7, W07509, doi: 10.1029/2012WR011959.
  • Dalin, C., M. Konar, N. Hanasaki, A. Rinaldo and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, (2012), Evolution of the global virtual water trade network, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol 109, Issue 16, pp. 5989-5994, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1203176109.
  • Suweis, S., M. Konar, C. Dalin, N. Hanasaki, A. Rinaldo, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2011), Structure and Controls of the Global Virtual Water Trade Network, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol 38, Issue 10, L10403, doi: 10.1029/2011GL046837.
  • Konar, M., C. Dalin, S. Suweis, N. Hanasaki, A. Rinaldo and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2011), Water for food: The global virtual water trade network, Water Resources Research, Vol 47, Issue 5, W05520, doi: 10.1029/2010WR010307.
  • Konar, M., R. Muneepeerkul, S. Azaele, E. Bertuzzo, A. Rinaldo and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2010), Potential impacts of precipitation change on large-scale patterns of tree diversity, Water Resources Research, Vol 46, Issue 11, W11515, doi: 10.1029/2010WR009384.


  • Campus Distinguished Promotion Award (2020)
  • Office of Risk Management and Insurance Research (ORMIR) Faculty Fellowship, Gies College of Business, UIUC (2020)
  • Hydrologic Science Early Career Award (2019)
  • NSF CAREER Award (2019)
  • William J. and Elaine F. Hall Faculty Fellow in Civil & Environmental Engineering (2017)
  • Princeton Energy and Climate Scholarship, Princeton Environmental Institute (2011)
  • Ford Fellow, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (2010)
  • Graduate Research Fellowship Program, National Science Foundation (2007)

Teaching Honors

  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent (CEE 350) (2019)

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