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Soil moisture detector helps protect endangered South African forest
DWFI Faculty Fellow Trenton Franz is applying technology developed for precision agriculture to help protect an endangered native forest in South Africa. Under a National Science Foundation-supported project, Franz is working with collaborators in South Africa to help assess the environmental impacts of commercial groundwater pumping from the Venetia Diamond Mine and well fields near Mapungubwe National Park. Franz's cosmic-ray neutron detector measures hydrogen in the park's ecosystem and detects water stress in the trees and shrubs that make up its rare gallery forest. Read more.

Mapungubwe National Park

The endangered riparian vegetation at Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa.

Partnerships pave the way to innovative solutions for water and food security
We need a bigger table. There will be over 200,000 more people at the global dinner table tonight than were there last night. By 2050, there will be nearly 10 billion people to feed on this planet. But our population is not only growing, it's growing wealthier, with increasing demand for food - especially meat and dairy products, requiring more agricultural production and water use. As a result of population increases and rising incomes, total food demand will likely double by 2050 (Earth Policy Institute, 2014). In a recent blog post, DWFI Founding Executive Director Roberto Lenton and PR and Communications Director Molly Nance explore these challenges and highlight how partnerships help pave the way to solutions. Read blog.

Stream sampling

Students from the UNL and UNESCO-IHE joint double degree program conduct stream sampling.
Other news and events

Nebraska Water Center seminar today
April 24, 2:30 p.m.
Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, Ubuntu Rm 202
UNL City Union
"Authorship and Author Rank - Misuses, Misunderstandings and a Meaningful Solution"

Dr. Prabhakar Clement (pictured), Harold Vince Groome Jr. Endowed Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Auburn University, will give a special seminar on authorship and author ranking in scientific/scholarly articles today at UNL's Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center. Dr. Clement is visiting as a special guest of the Nebraska Water Center and DWFI. View event flyer.

Water and natural resources spring seminar series concludes

The Nebraska Water Center/UNL School of Natural Resources (SNR) annual spring semester water and natural resources seminar series concluded earlier this week with the last of eight, free public lectures being delivered by Dr. Clement. This year's series of lectures yielded record public attendance and a notable increase in students registering to take the seminar as an SNR course for credit. PDF versions of presenter PowerPoints and YouTube videos of most of the lectures can be found at here.

Register now: 2015 Water and Natural Resources Tour, June 23-25
The 2015 Water and Natural Resources Tour will explore the Republican River basin in Nebraska and Colorado June 23-25. Registration is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. The tour, which begins and ends in Holdrege, will examine current water use and litigation issues in the basin. Registration is via The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District. Tour co-sponsors are NU's Nebraska Water Center and DWFI; UNL's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources; The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District; Upper Republican NRD; Middle Republican NRD; Lower Republican NRD; Tri-Basin NRD and Nebraska Rural Radio Association. Learn more. | Download brochure.

'Transdisciplinary Conversations' spring event series wraps up
Transdisciplinary Conversations, April 22 Thank you to everyone who participated in our 'Transdisciplinary Conversations' events this semester. DWFI and the Rural Futures Institute were pleased to host this series of networking receptions designed to spur collaboration among colleagues from a variety of backgrounds. The series will resume in September with an event at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. More details will be shared soon. View photo gallery.

New York Times features letter from DWFI Director Brozovic regarding California drought
Lake Shasta, CA On April 17, the New York Times published a letter from DWFI Director of Policy Nicholas Brozovic commenting on California's historic drought and issues to consider in developing solutions. Read op-ed. (Photo: Lake Shasta, sApuska/Flickr)
Water funding opportunities

Water Environment Research Foundation
Toolbox for Completing an Alternatives Analysis as Part of an Integrated Planning Approach to Water Quality Compliance
Program number: SIWM9R14
Program areas: Integrated Water and Receiving Waters
Deadline: May 20
Award ceiling: US $100,000 for a period of 1 year
Anticipated project start date: mid- to late August 2015
The Water Environment Research Foundation is seeking proposals for research to evaluate tools, software, and research reports and other documents available to assist communities with implementing an Alternatives Analysis within the Integrated Planning Framework and complete a gap analysis for what tools or information are needed for communities to be confident in making such permitting decisions. As part of an Alternatives Analysis, scenarios such as water quality trading agreements, green infrastructure strategies and asset management should be considered, so tools addressing these scenarios should be included.

U.S. Agency for International Development
Feed The Future Innovation Lab For Livestock Systems
Funding opportunity number: RFA-OAA-15-000012
Expected number of awards: 1
CFDA number: 98.001
Deadline: May 27
Award ceiling: $49,000,000
The Livestock Systems Innovation Lab, for which applications are requested by this RFA, will engage U.S. university capacity to conduct research on livestock systems and address key issues related to livestock value chains, disease management, animal source foods and enabling policies that drive sustainable local and national agricultural productivity and combat food insecurity and undernutrition.

U.S. Agency for International Development
Improving Food Security and Resilience through Agricultural Disaster Risk Reduction Programs In Guatemala

Funding opportunity number: APS-OFDA-15-000005
Expected number of awards: 2
CFDA number: 98.001
Deadline: Oct. 16
Funding amount: $1 million
USAID seeks to support projects that will improve food security in Guatemala by building resilience to cyclical droughts and floods, and by reducing household food security during these events. Eligibility to apply for funding is unrestricted.

National Science Foundation

Plant Genome Research Program
Estimated number of awards: 10 to 20
CFDA number(s): 47.074
Deadline: May 27
Funding amount: $15,000,000
Activities in four focus areas will be supported in FY 2015: (1) genomics-empowered plant research to tackle fundamental questions in plant sciences on a genome-wide scale; (2) development of tools and resources for plant genome research including novel technologies and analysis tools to enable discovery; (3) Mid-Career Investigator Awards in Plant Genome Research to increase participation of investigators trained primarily in fields other than plant genomics; and, (4) Early Career Investigator Awards in Plant Genome Research to increase the participation of early-career scientists in plant genome research.

National Science Foundation
Hydrologic Sciences
Program solicitation NSF 15-558
Estimated number of awards: 25 to 35 annually, pending availability of funds
CFDA number: 47.050
Deadline: applications accepted anytime
Funding amount: $10,000,000 annually, pending availability of funds.
Regular research awards supported: generally in the range of $250,000 to $700,000 and of 2-4 years duration.
The Hydrologic Sciences Program retains a strong focus on linking fluxes of water and the components carried by water across boundaries between various interacting facets of the terrestrial system and the mechanisms by which these fluxes co-organize over a variety of timescales and/or alter fundamentals of water cycle interactions within the terrestrial system. The program is also interested in how water interacts with the landscape and the ecosystem as well as how the water cycle and its coupled processes are altered by land use and climate.
Additional funding opportunities may be found at grants.gov, a single access point for individuals to search competitive funding opportunities from more than 900 grant programs offered by the 26 federal grant-making agencies.

The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska was founded in 2010 to address the global challenge of achieving food security with less stress on water resources through improved water management in agricultural and food systems. We are committed to ensuring a water and food secure world while sustaining the use of water for other human and environmental needs.