Global Water Security Center

Providing decision makers with the most reliable, ground-breaking research, applied scientific techniques, and best practices so that the hydrologic cycle and its potential impacts can be put in a context for appropriate action and response by the United States

Dr. Kate Brauman, Deputy Director

Dr. Kate Brauman is a globally recognized thought leader in water resources and ecosystem services. She served as a coordinating lead author for the global assessment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), released in 2019, and as a lead author for the 2021 United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Global Synthesis Report, “Making Peace with Nature.” Her paper, “The Nature and Value of Ecosystem Services: A focus on hydrology” in the 2007 Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources, has over 1,000 citations and is a widely used reference for both research and implementation of green infrastructure and ecosystem services projects. Broadly, Brauman’s research quantifies how changes in nature affect human wellbeing, with a particular focus on water resources.

In addition to research, Brauman is committed to and skilled at science communication. Following the 2019 release of the IPBES Global Assessment, Brauman spoke with a broad range of international television, radio, and print news outlets. In addition, in 2019 Brauman testified to the US Congress about the findings of the IPBES Global Assessment. In recognition of her commitment to public engagement, in 2017 Brauman was named an American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Leshner Leadership Fellow in Science Engagement.

Brauman most recently served as the lead scientist for the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment Global Water Initiative, where she was a member of the Natural Capital Project science team. Her projects include payments for watershed services, global variation in “crop per drop,” and worldwide trends in water consumption and availability. From 2020-2021, Brauman was the Water and Climate Resilience Fellow at the US Department of Defense through a Science Technology Policy Fellowship with AAAS. She received her doctorate from Stanford University and her undergraduate degree from Columbia University.

Selected media featuring Dr. Brauman

We’re Not Running Out of Water (The Conversation)

Are We Running Out of Water? (BBC)

Testimony to Congress

Video (Embedded Below): Tracing Embedded Water in US Meat and Ethanol Supply Chains

Email: [email protected]
Selected Publications

Brauman KA, et al. (2021). “Producing valuable information from hydrologic models of nature-based solutions for water.” Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. DOI:

Brauman KA, et al. 2020. “Global trends in nature’s contributions to people.” PNAS 202010473. DOI:

Brauman KA, AL Goodkind, T Kim, R Pelton, J Schmitt, T Smith. 2020. “Unique water scarcity footprints and water risks in US meat and ethanol supply chains identified via subnational commodity flows.” Environmental Research Letters. 15(105018). DOI

Bremer, LB, P Hamel, A Ponette-Gonzalez, P Vieira Pompeu, S Saad, KA Brauman. “Who are we measuring and modeling for? Supporting multi-level decision-making in watershed management”. 2020. Water Resources Research. 56(1).

S Díaz, Settele J, Brondízio ES, Ngo HT, Agard J, Arneth A, Balvanera P, Brauman KA, et al. 2019. Pervasive human-driven decline of life on Earth points to the need for transformative change. Science. 366(6471).

Chaplin-Kramer R, RP Sharp, C Weil, EM Bennett, U Pascual, AL Vogl, KK Arkema, KA Brauman, et al. 2019. “Global Modeling of Nature’s Contributions to People.” Science.

C Ramirez-Reyes, KA Brauman*, et al. 2019. “Reimagining the Potential of Earth Observations for Ecosystem Services Assessments.” Science of the Total Environment. 665.

Díaz S, U Pascual, M Stenseke, B Martín-López, RT Watson, Z Molnár, R Hill, KMA Chan, I Baste, KA Brauman, et al. 2018. “Assessing nature’s contributions to people.” Science. 359(6373).

Brauman, KA, B Richter, S Postel, M Malby, M Flörke. 2016. “Water Depletion: An improved metric for incorporating seasonal and dry-year water scarcity into water risk assessments.” Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 4:000083.

Brauman, KA, N Viart. 2016. “Development of a regionally sensitive water-productivity indicator to identify sustainable practices for sugarcane growers.” Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM) 12(4).

Brauman, KA. 2015. “Hydrologic ecosystem services: Linking ecohydrologic processes to human well-being in water research and watershed management.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water 2(4): 345-358.

Brauman, KA, GC Daily, DL Freyberg. 2015. “Impacts of Land-Use Change on Groundwater Supply: An ecosystem services assessment in Kona, Hawai’i.” Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management (ASCE) 141(12): A4014001.

Guswa, AJ, KA Brauman, C Brown, P Hamel, BL Keeler, SS Sayre. 2014. “Ecosystem services: Challenges and opportunities for hydrologic modeling to support decision making.” Water Resources Research, 50(5), 4535-4544.

Staudt, A, AK Leidner, J Howard, KA Brauman, J Dukes, L Hansen, C Paukert, J Sabo, LA Solórzano. 2013. “The added complications of climate change: understanding and managing biodiversity and ecosystems.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 11(9): 494–501.

Brauman, KA, S Seibert, JA Foley. 2013. “Improving crop water productivity increases water sustainability and food security–a global analysis.” Environmental Research Letters 8(2): 024030.

Keeler, B, S Polasky, KA Brauman, K Johnson, J Finlay, A O’Neill, K Kovacs, B Dalzel. 2012. “Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109(45): 18619-18624.

Foley, Jonathan A, N Ramankutty, KA Brauman, et al. 2011. “Solutions for a Cultivated Planet” Nature. 478(7369): 337-342.

Brauman, KA, GC Daily, TK Duarte, and HR Mooney. 2007 “The Nature and Value of Ecosystem Services: A focus on hydrology.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 32:67-98.