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WFI-FAO report examines drought risk and management in parched Caribbean
FAO-WFI Report on Caribbean Drought, June 2016
A new report examines drought in the Caribbean, a region often plagued by climate-related hazards, with a focus on the role of policymaking and planning to reduce its future impacts on agriculture and water resources.

"Drought Characteristics and Management in the Caribbean" is published jointly by the Land and Water Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska, in collaboration with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology.

"Severe droughts in recent years have had significant impacts on agriculture, water resources and ecosystem services in the Caribbean," said Water for Food Institute Founding Executive Director Roberto Lenton. "This report provides important insights into the way drought is perceived and managed in the region, and offers insights into the steps needed to further develop and implement policies and plans that will help build resilience and enhance regional food security." 

It is the second in a series of co-produced reports planned by the Land and Water Division of FAO and the Water for Food Institute.

Cahoon to co-lead $20M project to improve crop productivity
Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow Edgar Cahoon, George W. Holmes professor of biochemistry and director of UNL's Center for Plant Science Innovation (left), and James Alfonso, Charles Bessey professor of plant pathology at UNL (right), will lead a $20 million National Science Foundation funded research project to study root and soil microbe interactions and develop new biological tools to enhance crop productivity. Learn more.

From left: Edgar Cahoon and James Alfano. (Photo: Craig Chandler/UComm)
CIRCLES irrigation project underway in Tanzania
The Water for Food Institute's collaborative CIRCLES project with Valmont Industries and World Vision is beginning to make strides in Tanzania. Water for Food Institute Director of Research Christopher Neale visited with partners in Tanzania June 4-10. Discussions with the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology have been very positive and WFI is studying the suitability of their 3,280-acre track of land for center pivot irrigation. Great African Food Company has merged with Quality Food Products Ltd. and plan to drive the CIRCLES center pivot pilot test forward. Additionally, a qualified well driller has been identified.
Arusha Tanzania June 2016
Water for Food Institute Director of Research Christopher Neale (in hat) examines center pivot materials with CIRCLES collaborators during a visit to Arusha, Tanzania.
Videos: Seminar on climate change and its implications for Nebraska
In response to Nebraska LR 455, Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow Don Wilhite, climatologist in the UNL School of Natural Resources, worked in cooperation with Sen. Ken Haar to organize a seminar for senators on climate change and its implications for the state. The event, held June 1, included short presentations by the National Drought Mitigation Center, Nebraska State Climate Office, High Plains Regional Climate Center and the Water for Food Institute, among others. Watch now. 

Nick Brozovic
Director of Policy Nick Brozovic discusses the importance of researching climate change within the scope of water for food.
Grassini recognized by American Society of Agronomy, joins Field to Market council on sustainable agriculture
Patricio Grassini (pictured), Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow and UNL assistant professor of agronomy, will receive the  American Society of Agronomy's  2016 Early Career Professional Award, recognizing his  outstanding professional contributions in agronomy.  The ASA will formally present the award to Grassini at its annual meeting Nov. 6-9 in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Learn more.

Grassini also joins the Field to Market: Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture Science Advisory Council, a group of 12 leading experts from the scientific community who will lend their knowledge and expertise to guide Field to Market's staff and diverse membership from across the food and agricultural supply chain. The organization seeks to develop a sustainability standard for U.S. commodity crop production that helps catalyze continuous improvement in environmental outcomes. Learn more.
Neale shares irrigation expertise at UNESCO meeting in Paris
Christopher Neale Kovacs
Water for Food Institute Director of Research Christopher Neale (pictured) was invited to present on the role of irrigation in food security at the Kovacs Colloquium, organized jointly by the International Hydrological Program (IHP) of UNESCO and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, in Paris June 15.  The colloquium is part of a series of international scientific meetings focused on the most challenging fields of water resources research.  Learn more.
Nebraska Water Center updates
Summer water tour explores Colorado water issues
The 2016 water and natural resources tour, hosted by the Nebraska Water Center and the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District, took place June 14-16 in Colorado's central Front Range area and into the interior of the Rocky Mountains.  The annual tour examines local and regional water issues, including agricultural water use, water management, water quality and environmental impacts. Learn more from KRVN Radio.

Chuck Rhoades Water Tour Group
Chuck Rhoades, research biogeochemist with the United States Forest Service discusses water quality at the service's experimental forest near Fraser, Colo.
Upcoming events

Stockholm World Water Week | Aug. 28-Sept. 2
World Water Week
World Water Week 2016, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, will focus on "Water and Sustainable Growth." Early bird registration ends June 30.

WFI looks forward to co-convening two workshops Aug. 30:

Telling Your Story to Make an Impact
Co-conveners: CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) led by IWMI, KickStart International and Redstone

Role-playing How Water Markets Improve Food Security and the Environment
Co-convener: Mammoth Trading
Nebraska Water Center Symposium | Oct. 20
Water Law Conference | Oct. 21
The Nebraska Water Center's annual water symposium is Thursday, Oct. 20, followed by a jointly sponsored NWC/University of Nebraska College of Law water law conference on Friday, Oct. 21.  Both events will be held at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln. The symposium will feature presentations on water basins and panel discussions focused on the Upper and Lower Platte River, Republican, Blue and Niobrara Rivers. Learn more.


Morgan Spiehs, program associate
Morgan Spiehs
Morgan Spiehs is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with majors in journalism and women's and gender studies. Before joining WFI, she worked as a photojournalist for publications in Colorado, Arizona and Nebraska. She's also produced documentary work in Brazil, Ethiopia and India. Her work in the United States and abroad has been nationally and internationally recognized.

Morgan joined WFI in June 2016 to help develop programs focusing on innovative water management for food production, domestically and internationally. She plans to organize events and recruit, support and mentor students for research and policy programs as well as produce multimedia content for the institute, among other duties.

Funding opportunities

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Global Video Competition on Climate Change
Deadline: Aug. 1 

UNFCCC announces its second annual Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change. The competition invites young people between the ages of 18 and 30 to submit three-minute videos about their actions to address climate change or to raise public awareness about it. Two winners will receive a round trip and accommodations to attend the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco in Nov. 2016. Learn more.

U.S. Agency for International Development
Improved Livelihoods in South Sudan 

Deadline: Oct.10 

USAID's Livelihoods, Vulnerability and Resilience Program aims to improve livelihoods in conflict-affected areas of South Sudan struggling with food insecurity. Among other objectives, the program will support the initiation, development and capacity building for community-led groups engaged in agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishery production. It will also address how to build community capacity for increased resilience to shocks and disasters, and how to alleviate problems in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for improved livelihoods. Eligibility for funding is unrestricted.  Learn more.

The Water for Food 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. We are committed to ensuring a water and food secure world while maintaining the use of water for other human and environmental needs.