April 12, 2018
Latest news and updates
Nebraska leads Water for Food discussions at the 8th World Water Forum in Brazil
The 8th World Water Forum, held in Brasília, Brazil, last month, drew more than 20,000 participants from 170 countries to focus on the challenges and solutions to ensuring water security. DWFI had the opportunity to coordinate the Water for Food sessions in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. DWFI leadership, along with University of Nebraska faculty and representatives from Nebraska's Natural Resources Districts, shared experiences and best practices regarding irrigation, groundwater management, building resilient agricultural systems, soil and water conservation practices, water governance and optimizing water in food processing. Read more about DWFI's involvement.

Other resources
Pictured above: Water for Food High Level Panelists pictured left to right: Claudia Sadoff, director general, International Water Management Institute; Blairo Maggi, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Brazil; Peter G. McCornick, executive director, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute (moderator); Mauricio Antonio Lopes, president, EMBRAPA, Federal Agricultural Research Agency of Brazil and Isabel García Tejerina, Minister of Agriculture Fisheries, Food and Environment of Spain.
Forum highlights student research in securing water for food
DWFI's fourth annual Water for Food Research Forum will be held April 26 at the Nebraska East Union. We're excited to share with you the innovative research students are doing at the University of Nebraska to help ensure we have enough water to sustainably feed the world — advances in plant breeding, precision irrigation, groundwater policy and more. This event is free and open to the public. Please register by April 19.
Assessing the water resources potential for irrigated agriculture in Bahía , Brazil
Brazilian policymakers, farmers, researchers and other stakeholders are interested in learning from Nebraska's experience in developing sustainable groundwater management for agricultural intensification. After several discussions with Brazilian colleagues about Nebraska's groundwater governance model, a new set of collaborative research projects is underway between DWFI, the Association of Farmers and Irrigators of Bahía, the Federal Universities of Viçosa and Rio de Janeiro and the State Government of Bahía.

The research has four objectives:

  • Hydrogeological modeling to define the sustainable use of the Urucuia aquifer system
  • Assessment of surface water availability in the Grande, Corrente and Carinhanha river basins
  • Land use change and assessment of soil carbon sequestration in irrigated areas in the Western Bahía
  • Development, testing and economic evaluation of hydroclimatic forecasting systems for water, food and energy security in Western Bahía

A delegation from Nebraska visited Bahía in February to share solutions and challenges to managing groundwater for high productivity agriculture. The visit included several meetings, field site visits to rural properties, two international seminars and a high-level discussion with the Governor of the State of Bahía , Rui Costa dos Santos (pictured below). The program included more than 300 professionals representing more than 100 organizations from different sectors. As a result of these activities, the following joint projects are being discussed:

  • Modeling and discussion of water resources monitoring systems for Western Bahía
  • Developing water governance models for Western Bahía
  • Building capacity for professionals on sustainable water resources management
  • Implementing irrigation projects to advance family agriculture productivity in the “Vale” region of Western Bahía

More resources
The Nebraska delegation meets with Rui Costa dos Santos (center, left of flag), governor of the Brazilian state of Bahía in Salvador.
Recent publications
Working paper outlines pathways to farmer-led irrigation in Africa
Without a transformative leap forward in the use of irrigation, Africa will continue falling short in the struggle to feed its growing population, improve its people’s nutrition, grow its economies, adapt to the impacts of climate change and eliminate poverty. In conjunction with the Water for Food International Forum, held earlier this year in Washington, D.C., USA, DWFI shared a new working paper on ways to support farmer-led irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa. Read working paper.
High‐resolution water footprints of production in the U.S.
DWFI postdoctoral researcher Mesfin Mekonnen helped calculate the water footprint of more than 500 food, energy, mining, services and manufacturing industries and goods produced in the U.S. — providing the most comprehensive WFP analysis for the country to date. Read paper.
Center pivot handbook provides comprehensive guide for growers
A guide on center pivot irrigation technology is available thanks to Nebraska Extension specialists and educators, including DWFI Faculty Fellow Derrell Martin. The handbook covers topics related to center pivot system design, including wells, pumps, and pipelines, optimizing water and energy use efficiency, and managing and operating the equipment. Read handbook.
Featured partner
World Bank Group
DWFI's partnership with the World Bank Group grew from meetings and conversations following the 2017 Water for Food Global Conference. Steven Schonberger, global lead for water in agriculture with the World Bank's Water Global Practice, worked with DWFI leadership and staff to initiate a study tour of Nebraska with an international group of World Bank economists in September 2017. The group traveled the state to learn firsthand from farmers, government representatives and other stakeholders about Nebraska's high-productivity agricultural systems and sustainable groundwater management.
Following the tour, DWFI worked with the World Bank to organize the Water for Food International Forum, “Farmer-led Irrigated Agriculture: Seeds of Opportunity” , Jan. 29-30, in Washington, D.C., USA. The forum, which included speakers and participants from 29 countries, focused on improving water and food security and livelihoods for smallholder farmers in developing countries by intensifying sustainable irrigated agriculture.

On the blog
Empowering decision support with big data

How is DWFI leveraging "big data" to empower stakeholders and decision-makers to solve complex water and food security challenges?  Read blog.
What can Nebraska teach the American West about managing water? A lot.

Discover what Nebraska and other western states are doing to combat groundwater decline. Read blog.
Hands-on learning approach prepares future water for food leaders

Learn how some of our current and former interns are applying the skills and knowledge they gained at DWFI to forge their own paths toward careers in water and food security. Read blog.
Nebraska Water Center updates
WARI enters new phase

Nebraska Water Center Director Chittaranjan Ray (pictured below), DWFI Education Outreach Coordinator Jesse Starita and others visited India in February to share information about Nebraska's joint Water Advanced Research and Innovation (WARI) Fellowship Program following its first three years of activities. Along with attending various meetings, DWFI and NWC presented at the International Conference on Sustainable Technologies for Intelligent Water Management at the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee.

Additionally, Ray, Starita, University of Nebraska Water Sciences Laboratory Director of Services Dan Snow and former WARI Fellow Paromita Chakraborty visited the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum in Delhi for discussions about the program’s renewal.

The third class of WARI scholars will begin arriving in Lincoln in April.
Water tour heads west to Colorado and Wyoming

The Nebraska Water Center’s water and natural resources tour , June 26-29, will travel west along the North Platte River basin in Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming this summer. The tour will feature a visit to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s North Platte irrigation project in Wyoming, as well as points of interest in Colorado and Nebraska. Look for registration updates at watercenter.unl.edu.
Great Plains Regional Water Symposium

Save the date! The Nebraska Water Center will host a regional water symposium, Oct. 24-25, at Nebraska Innovation Campus. The event will examine shared challenges and opportunities among the nine-state region that comprises the world's primary "food basket." See more event details.
Faculty Fellows in the news
Mark Svoboda, climatologist and director, National Drought Mitigation Center

Karina Schoengold, environmental and resource economist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

David Aiken, water and agricultural law specialist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Wayne Woldt, environmental engineer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Don Wilhite, climatologist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (emeritus)

Richard Perrin, agricultural economist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lilyan Fulginiti, agricultural economist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
In memoriam
Peter P. Rogers (1938-2018)
Peter Rogers , Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Engineering and Professor of City and Regional Planning
at Harvard University, was a founding member of the DWFI's International Advisory Panel since it was established in 2014.

IAP members share memories of Peter:

I first met Peter about 15 years ago at a SIWI organised meeting in Stockholm. I was amazed then, and subsequently, by his intellect, scientific curiosity and warm-hearted and helpful nature. This is a big loss to water science. My sincere condolences to his family.
Colin Chartres

Peter was erudite, engaged, committed to excellence and a delight to know. He and [his wife] Suzanne enjoyed a wide acquaintanceship of people and places all over the planet. Peter was invited everywhere, and was generous with his time. He continued long into what would have been retirement years for others with the onerous work of trying to organize people and presentations to try to create impact at events. His books and lectures were clear and accessible. My first significant memory of Peter will forever be the strongest: in a lecture room at a Stockholm Water Conference. He gave a long, coherent, evidence-supported and passionate statement on why getting the economics of water right was the foundation and base of going forward. I have never forgotten it, and have always tried to pass on this fundamental message which he delivered so well.
Margaret Catley-Carlson

Jerry F. Kenny (1955-2018)
Jerry F. Kenny w as e xecutive director of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program and president and CEO of Headwaters Corporation in Kearney, Nebraska. Jerry was a dedicated member of the University of Nebraska's Water Resources Advisory Panel since 2011. Read more about Jerry.
Funding and other opportunities
U.S. Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Deadline: July 9, 2018

National Science Foundation - Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water
Deadline: Sept. 26, 2018

Baltzell Student Innovation Award
University of Nebraska-Lincoln undergraduate students have a great opportunity to advance their research on livestock, animal feed and/or crops and their intersections with water use with support from the Baltzell Student Innovation Award.
Spotlight
Saptashati (Tania) Biswas 
Research Lab Manager, Water Sciences Laboratory, Nebraska Water Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Saptashati (Tania) Biswas manages the Water Sciences Laboratory's daily operations, including monitoring sample workflow, assisting clients, implementing data management and quality assurance plans, revising operating protocols and supervising lab equipment use and maintenance, among many other duties. Tania joined WSL in December 2017. Read full bio.

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