September 15, 2017
Latest news and updates
Howard W. Buffett joins board of directors for the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska has gained a strong ally in its mission to ensure water and food security, welcoming Howard W. Buffett (pictured) to its board of directors.

“Agriculture is one of the most important industries in the world,” said Buffett. “Ensuring global food security may sound like an impossible goal, but it can be done. The Daugherty Institute at the University of Nebraska is leading the way in work and research toward this goal. I look forward to working with the institute, university leaders, faculty and students, as well as partners across borders, to create innovative and lasting solutions.”
World Water Week 2017 recap
For the sixth consecutive year, DWFI shared its expertise in water and food security research at World Water Week in Stockholm. The annual event, hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute, brings together top water experts and practitioners from around the world.

DWFI leadership contributed to discussions during the week through presentations and panel discussions, co-convening a three-part seminar on wastewater reuse in agriculture and participating in two panels focused on climate-smart agriculture.


While in Stockholm, Dr. McCornick attended a planning meeting for the Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture , an initiative led by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization with 30 partnership institutions — including DWFI.

Additionally, Dr. McCornick joined a “SIWI Sofa” panel highlighting the Global Framework. The live-streamed discussion touched on the water scarcity drivers in agriculture and the importance of partnerships to develop context-specific solutions for each country. Other interviewees included Olcay Ünver, Deputy Director, Land and Water Division, FAO, and Marco Arcieri, Secretary General, Italian Division of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage. The video below is courtesy of SIWI Media Hub.
Nebraska-Argentina workshop - partnering to enhance agricultural production
In collaboration with the Argentine government, DWFI and UNL's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources organized a workshop on “High Productivity Agricultural Production with Center Pivot Irrigation” at the Ministry of Agroindustry in Buenos Aires. On Sept. 6 and 7, experts from both countries gathered to share experiences and learn more about irrigated agriculture in Nebraska and Argentina. Together, the participants worked to find to solutions that will help Argentina achieve its potential in agricultural productivity through sustainable irrigation development and management, which could generate significant economic benefits.

The workshop provided an opportunity for University of Nebraska researchers and leadership to share Nebraska's experience in water governance and irrigation efficiency among highly engaged representatives of Argentina's provinces, the national government and the private sector. The discussion highlighted the complex institutional, economic, environmental and social factors involved in such an endeavor.

The University of Nebraska has been working with the Ministry of Agroindustry for the last 16 months to analyze the possibilities of expanding the irrigated areas of agriculture in Argentina. There are significant parallels with Nebraska's water management development over the past 50 years and the Ministry's approach to implementing improved water strategies in agriculture.

The results of the workshop included preliminary policy recommendations and concept notes for each of the identified thematic areas. The workshop formed a vision on irrigation and water use for agricultural production, helping to establish high productivity and sustainable irrigation agriculture as national priorities in Argentina.
Husker Harvest Days engages farmers in smart water and energy meter project
“Small Changes, Big Payback: Strengthening Nebraska’s Agricultural Economy” was the theme for the University of Nebraska's exhibit space at Husker Harvest Days, Sept. 12-14, near Grand Island, Nebraska. Celebrating its 40th year, Husker Harvest Days is billed as the nation's largest totally irrigated working farm show.

Program Coordinator Kate Gibson and Program Associate Morgan Spiehs (pictured) represented the institute and provided information to farmers about a pilot program using smart water and energy meters. The program is a partnership between DWFI and Smart Water Metering, Inc., that aims to use data collected from the smart meters to help producers improve their energy efficiency and understand how much irrigation water they use, leading to more sustainable natural resource management.

Dozens of farmers at the event expressed interest in volunteering for the program and 20 officially registered to participate.
Faculty events planned for Sept. 19
The Nebraska Water Center’s Faculty Retreat and DWFI's Faculty Fellow Dialogue will be held Sept. 19 at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center in Lincoln. 

The NWC Retreat will include various water faculty and stakeholders from federal and state entities, including NRDs, senators, and staff of selected congressional delegates. Stakeholder groups will have an opportunity to provide input to help NU water faculty prepare the most relevant research proposals possible for federal, state and local agency interests.

The DWFI Faculty Fellow Dialogue will include an overview of the institute's work with faculty to achieve impacts and outcomes, updates from the leadership team, brief research presentations from Faculty Fellows, and an open discussion on partnerships, projects and methods to help achieve our mission to ensure global water and food security. To end the evening, all participants are invited to a reception at The Mill Bistro. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.
On the blog
Interns explore water use in farming at the field level in western Nebraska

Minimizing the impacts of agriculture on water resources

Faculty Fellows in the news
Husker-led project aims to boost climate literacy 
DWFI Faculty Fellow Cory Forbes, UNL science literacy educator, is leading a four-year National Science Foundation-funded project to develop an online climate modeling tool and related curriculum for high school students. Learn more.
McMahon's new book delves into impacts of NGOs
A new book by UNL political scientist and DWFI Faculty Fellow Patrice McMahon takes a hard look at how non-governmental organizations operate in war-torn areas, often left vulnerable to food and water insecurity. Learn more.
Probiotic bacteria could protect newborns from deadly infection
DWFI Faculty Fellow Pinaki Panigrahi, UNMC epidemiologist/pediatrician, is part of team finding ways to use 'good bacteria' to help newborns with sepsis. The research was published in the journal Nature and featured on National Public Radio. Learn more.
Husker scientists aim to boost Arctic's resilience
DWFI Faculty Fellow Craig Allen, UNL wildlife ecologist, is leading a new National Science Foundation-supported program that uses an interdisciplinary "convergence" approach to build a framework to enhance the Arctic’s resilience. Learn more.
Nebraska leads project identifying causes of yield gaps in U.S. soybean production
New research led by DWFI Faculty Fellow and UNL cropping systems agronomist Patricio Grassini outlines the causes for yield gaps in soybean production systems in the north central region of the U.S. Learn more.
Kolok gives farewell seminar
DWFI Faculty Fellow and UNO aquatic toxicologist Alan Kolok (pictured) reflected on almost two decades of work examining water quality in Nebraska during a farewell seminar, Aug. 23 in Omaha. He left Nebraska Sept. 1 to serve as director of the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute. We thank Alan for his many contributions to DWFI and our broader mission. View event photos.
CALMIT to host workshop for global experts in airborne fluorescence
Scientists in the UNL Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies (CALMIT), including DWFI Faculty Fellow and remote sensing expert John Gamon, will host a four-day workshop Sept. 26 to 29 that focuses on solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence. Learn more.
Upcoming events
Through Oct. 27 | 10-11 a.m.
UNL Center for Plant Science Innovation, Beadle E228
Hosted by the Midwest Big Data Hub Digital Agriculture Spoke and the University of Nebraska Quantitative Life Sciences Initiative. All seminars will be webcast for remote participants. 

Sept. 18 | 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Nebraska East Union, Great Plains Room
Hosted by DWFI and the UNL Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering. Join in person or via live-stream.

Sept. 19 | Nebraska Innovation Campus - Conference Center, Rooms B1-3
NWC Retreat: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Faculty Fellow Dialogue: 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Reception: 5 to 7 p.m.

Through Dec. 8 | 3:30 p.m.
UNL East Campus, Keim Hall, Room 150
Hosted by the UNL Department of Agronomy and Horticulture , with refreshments served at 3 p.m. Join in person or online.

Sept. 26-29 | UNL East Campus
Hosted by CALMIT, and sponsored by DWFI, the European Space Agency, Fluorescence Explorer Advisory Group and UNL's School of Natural Resources, Agronomy and Horticulture, Agricultural Research Division and Office of Research and Economic Development.

Oct. 6 | 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
University of Nebraska College of Law 

Oct. 26-27
Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center
Funding and other opportunities
Baltzell Student Innovator Fund
The new Baltzell Student Innovation Award gives UNL undergraduates an opportunity to advance research on livestock, animal feed and/or crops and their intersection with water use. Applications are due Oct. 1. Learn more.
Water-Agriculture Photo Contest
Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development has launched a global water-agriculture photo contest to call attention to water scarcity. Enter now through Sept. 27. Learn more.
Spotlight
Lacey Bodnar, Research Project Manager
Lacey Bodnar joined DWFI in August 2017. Her responsibilities include executing research and technical transfer projects, coordinating and evaluating the progress of ongoing research projects with partners, assisting in proposal development and administering the visiting scholars program. Lacey uses her collaborative project management skills to facilitate DWFI’s local, national and international research projects, tailoring them to the needs of diverse stakeholders.

Previously, Lacey worked as a drainage engineer in Texas, where she led discussions at regional conferences on civil engineers’ ethical responsibilities when developing in areas prone to natural disasters. Lacey also served as a project manager for the Texas Water Development Board, where she managed projects valued at over $225 million. She enjoyed working with Texas communities, local governments, and other professional scientists, engineers, financiers and lawyers to successfully implement projects enabling reliable and safe water distribution and wastewater treatment. 

Lacey is a native Nebraskan, and an alumna of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Water Science program and the Texas A&M Civil Engineering Department.
About us
The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska was founded in 2010 by the Robert B. Daugherty Foundation to address the global challenge of achieving food security with less stress on water resources through improved water management in agricultural and food systems. The institute is committed to ensuring a water and food secure world while maintaining the use of water for other human and environmental needs. 
waterforfood.nebraska.edu | (+1) 402.472.5145

The Nebraska Water Center, established by Congress in 1964, focuses on helping the University of Nebraska become an international leader in water research, teaching, extension and outreach by facilitating programs that will result in UNL becoming a premiere institution in the study of agricultural and domestic water use.
watercenter.unl.edu | (+1) 402.472.3305