Nov. 15, 2017
Latest news and updates
World Bank officials get firsthand look at Nebraska groundwater management
DWFI led a group of more than 10 officials from the World Bank on a study tour of Nebraska, Sept. 17-22, to learn more about the state's groundwater management practices, policies, partnerships, technologies and infrastructure. The visitors included agriculture specialists, water specialists, engineers and economists representing Africa, India, Pakistan, Philippines and the United States.

The World Bank is interested in investing in groundwater-fed irrigation projects for food production in Southeast Asia, Africa, India and the Middle East. The goal of the tour was to gain an understanding of how Nebraska manages water for agricultural use — from the University of Nebraska, Natural Resources Districts, farmers, irrigation equipment dealers and other private industry reps, state regulatory agencies and non-profit organizations. Watch videos outlining the visitors' key takeaways from the tour and listen to the Rural Radio Network's interview about their visit featuring Jim Bendfeldt of the Nebraska Association of Natural Resources Districts.

The tour was initiated by the World Bank's Steven Schonberger, practice manager and global lead for Water in Agriculture in the MENA region, who first visited Lincoln to speak at the 2017 Water for Food Global Conference in April.

DWFI and the World Bank are collaborating on an event in Washington, D.C., USA, Jan. 29-30, that will highlight farmer-led irrigated agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, in partnership with the USDA and USAID.
Former Ag Secretary Mike Johanns joins Water for Food board
Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary and Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns (pictured) has joined DWFI's board of directors, bringing his 30 years of experience and expertise in agriculture, banking, commerce, foreign trade, law and governance.

“We’re truly honored to welcome Mike Johanns to the Daugherty Institute’s Board of Directors. His vast experience, both in Nebraska and internationally, brings valuable connections and perspective to the work of the institute. And he shares our excitement about the University of Nebraska’s leadership potential in sustainably feeding the growing global population,” said NU President and DWFI Board Chair Hank Bounds.
Water for Food panelists say Nebraska farmers' water use, ag productivity skills could help solve world food security issues
On Nov. 1, the University of Nebraska at Kearney hosted a panel presentation for the University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Trustees featuring DWFI leadership and other partners. The panelists addressed, "Water and Food Security in Nebraska and Throughout the World," shedding light on the challenges and opportunities to leveraging Nebraska's irrigation water technologies and management practices to help solve global water and food security issues. Read the Kearney Hub news story.
Jordanian Ambassador visits DWFI
On Nov. 4, Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar (2nd from left) visits with DWFI Director of Research Christopher Neale (3rd from left) and University of Nebraska leaders, faculty and students to learn about innovative solutions to drought monitoring and resilience, water and food security and educational opportunities across borders.
(Not pictured: Mark Svoboda, NDMC)
Drones are buzzing toward increased crop production
A new research project funded by the USDA and DWFI seeks to deploy unmanned aircraft in search of improved crop irrigation efficiency. The funding provided by the half million-dollar grant will be used to explore using new aerial robotic technologies to help farmers make informed decisions about managing their complex center pivot irrigation systems.
Odhiambo wins grant from Dept. of Agriculture-NIFA
DWFI Irrigation Specialist Lameck Odhiambo received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture for his project, "Reconfiguring Farmers' Behavior to Reduce Irrigation Water Use through Water Measurements and Social Norms Interventions: A Case Study in the Republican River Basin."

"The overall objective for this study in the Republican River basin is to better understand changes in farmers’ behavior to reduce irrigation water use through provision of technical advice and social norms interventions," Odhiambo said.
Data in irrigated agriculture: Using smart water meters to improve water and energy efficiency
DWFI has partnered with Smart Water Metering, a Canadian startup company that develops smart meters for agricultural applications, to launch a pilot program with irrigators to install 200 smart meters on electric groundwater pumps by the end of FY18, and to help those irrigators benchmark and improve their energy efficiency. DWFI Program Coordinator Kate Gibson (pictured) talked to NTV's Grow a bout the project during Husker Harvest Days.
Water for Food Global SEEDS will provide students with community learning experience
Beginning in the fall 2018 semester, University of Nebraska-Lincoln second-year students interested in working towards solutions for water and food insecurity issues will have an opportunity to participate in the Water for Food Global SEEDS learning community. Students will work with DWFI faculty and staff to:

  • Explore how to use entrepreneurial approaches in public and private sector settings to evaluate the use of water in agriculture and its impacts, opportunities, and challenges in Nebraska, in the U.S., and around the world
  • Connect with a global network of leaders to understand where future water and food challenges will be, and how you can help to solve them 
  • Apply classroom learning to real-world situations in an international study abroad program through the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute e.g. studying smallholder irrigation in East Africa and the potential for poverty alleviation through social entrepreneurship 

Water for Food Global SEEDS, which stands for Service, Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Development and Sustainability, is open to all upperclassmen regardless of their major.

During the fall semester, students in the learning community will spend time understanding issues surrounding water for food security and entrepreneurship across the region. The spring semester will focus on international issues as they prepare for a five-week study abroad program in the summer.
Nebraska Water Center Faculty Retreat and DWFI Faculty Fellow Dialogue
The Nebraska Water Center Faculty Retreat and DWFI Faculty Fellow Dialogue was held Sept. 19 at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln. The NWC Retreat (pictured below) included presentations and discussion among water faculty and stakeholders from federal and state entities, including NRDs, senators and staff of selected congressional delegates. Stakeholder groups provided input with the goal to help NU water faculty prepare research proposals that are well-aligned with federal, state and local agency interests. The DWFI Faculty Fellow Dialogue provided an overview of the institute's research and policy focus areas and recent projects with faculty to achieve impacts and outcome. Brief research presentations from Faculty Fellows Trenton Franz, Bob Oglesby and Clinton Rowe of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. View the faculty slides .
Nebraska Water Center updates
Nebraska Water Center holds annual Water Symposium

Presentations and photos from the Nebraska Water Center's 2017 Water Symposium, Oct. 26-27, are available on the NWC website . This year's event featured two full days of discussion focused on "Managing Impacts to Water Quality in Production Agriculture." The student poster competition participation doubled from last year. Learn more.
2018 Water Tour heads west to Colorado and Wyoming

The University of Nebraska’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. Learn more.
Faculty Fellows in the news
Karina Schoengold, e nvironmental and resource economist, UNL
Daran Rudnick, i rrigation/water management specialist, UNL

Derrel Martin and Derek Heeren, i rrigation engineers, UNL

Mike Hayes, climatologist and atmospheric scientist, UNL

Yufeng Ge, advanced sensing systems engineer, UNL
Derek Heeren, irrigation engineer, UNL
Daran Rudnick, i rrigation/water management specialist, UNL
Wayne Woldt, e nvironmental engineer, UNL

Judy Diamond, science literacy educator, UNL

Roger Elmore, cropping systems agronomist, UNL

Patricio Grassini, cropping systems agronomist, UNL

Christine Reed, public and environmental policy analyst, UNO

Mike Forsberg, wildlife photographer and ecologist, UNL

Helen Raikes, child development and early education specialist, UNL

Martha Mamo, soil scientist, UNL
Upcoming events
Wednesday, Nov. 15 | 2:00 p.m. CT

Presented by Nurwulan Agustiani, Indonesia Agency for Agricultural Research and Development
UNL East Campus, Keim Hall, Room 150

Hosted by DWFI and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's IANR Global Engagement and Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.

Funding and other opportunities
Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund accepts grant proposals for programs outside of the U.S. in the following areas:

  • Providing basic education support designed to improve education in farming communities around the world, including supporting schools, libraries, science centers, farmer training programs and academic programs that enrich or supplement school programs
  • Meeting critical needs in communities by supporting nonprofit organizations that help with necessities, such as food security, sanitation, access to clean water and public safety.

Award amount: $25,000 and up
Deadline: Feb. 28, 2018
Visiting research scholars | Indian Agricultural Research Institute
Pragya is a Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellow (2017-18) at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute’s Division of Agricultural Physics in New Delhi, India. Her research focuses on determining crop water stress, including estimating regional evapotranspiration using remote sensing modeling and a large aperture scintillometer.
Vijay Kumar Prajapati
Vijay Kumar Prajapati is a scientist at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (ICAR) in New Delhi, India. His research focuses on developing drought monitoring and early warning systems. He is working with Nebraska's National Drought Mitigation Center on a project entitled, “U.S.-India Partnership: Improving Water Management, Agricultural Production and Food Security in Drought–prone Areas.” Read full bio.
Alka Rani 
Alka Rani is a doctoral student at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi, India. She is also working with Nebraska's National Drought Mitigation Center on a project entitled, “U.S.-India Partnership: Improving Water Management, Agricultural Production and Food Security in Drought–prone Areas.” 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. | +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. | +1 402.472.3305