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Francesca Greco

Francesca Greco

PhD student


Francesca Greco is a PhD student in the Department of Geography. She served as programme officer at the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (UN WWAP UNESCO) from 2011 to 2017, where she acted as the gender focal point and the person in charge of the regional monitoring process.

As a member of the London Water Research Group since 2003, she has been conducting research on water policy, groundwater aquifers and food exports in the Middle East and Africa since 2002. She served as a United Nations’ Volunteer at the UNESCO cluster office of Accra (Ghana) from 2005 to 2006.

She counts on more than 12 years' experience in water policy, gender issues, project management, water assessment monitoring and reporting, serving UNESCO,  Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and various non-governmental organisations, actively contributing to academic research in Europe (COST EuroAgri-WAT) and in the US (MIT-Boston- CUAHSI).

She has been working for WWF in Italy and she is the scientific advisor and co-author of the WWF report 'The Water Footprint of Italy.'

Co-author and co-editor of the volume 'The Water We Eat', she is currently a PhD candidate at King’s College London with professor Tony Allan, with whom she was also awarded a master's degree in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, in 2004.


Thesis title: 'Groundwater irrigation and crop export in Italy's arid zones: the paradox of virtual water trade in current global crop markets'

Francesca is currently investigating the virtual water exports from Italian arid zones and about the environmental sustainability of 'made in Italy' food-products. This includes testing the relevance of exports of food commodities from arid countries using non-renewable water sources to the benefit of the global consumer’s market.

Other areas of research interest include:

  • Gender and water
  • Transboundary water
  • Hegemony and power in hydropolitics
  • Groundwater
  • Transboundary groundwater
  • SDGs monitoring and reporting
  • Qualitative and quantitative indicators for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.5
  • Virtual water
  • Water footprint 
  • Italian hydro political discourse

PhD supervision

Further details

See Francesca's research profile