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Water for Food Institute and Jain Irrigation launch joint research and education program
Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. of India and the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska have announced a joint international research and education partnership. The cooperation will provide new funding for University of Nebraska faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral research scholars to collaborate closely with Jain Irrigation scientists on critical water and food security issues.

Jain Irrigation, one of the largest irrigation and food processing companies in the world, will donate $500,000 to the University of Nebraska Foundation over the next five years to support the Jain Irrigation - University of Nebraska Water for Food Research and Education Program. The funding from Jain Irrigation and resources provided by the Water for Food Institute will help support a cooperative program, including scientific exchanges for hands-on research, training and outreach projects. Learn more.

Jain Irrigation partnership
Participating leaders in the launch of the joint international research and education partnership between Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. of India and the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska. Left to right: Thomas Farrell, Senior Advisor to the Chancellor, International Affairs, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Bhau Jain, Founder Chairman of Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd.; and Christopher Neale, Director of Research, Daugherty Water for Food Institute.

Research examines why well yield matters for managing agricultural drought risk
Corn in rain
Research led by Water for Food Institute postdoctoral researcher Timothy Foster assesses how groundwater depletion affects farmers' exposure to risks posed by climate change and extreme weather events. A new paper shows how reductions in irrigation well pumping capacities, a common consequence of aquifer depletion, greatly reduce farmers' ability to use groundwater to grow food amid drought. Read full paper.

Ray presents at International Water Association conference in China
Dr. Ray in China July 2015
On July 7, Nebraska Water Center Director Chittaranjan Ray (pictured) gave a keynote lecture at the 10th International Water Association Conference on Water Reclamation and Reuse in Harbin, China. His talk addressed, "Vegetable Crop Uptake of Pharmaceuticals During Irrigation with Recycled Water." This trip was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with partial support from the University of Nebraska. See full agenda.

Nebraska Water Balance Alliance hosts ag field day
On Aug. 3-4, more than 200 people attended a field day hosted by the Nebraska Water Balance Alliance at Paulman Farms near Sutherland, Nebraska, USA. This year's theme was "Real Farmers, Real Experiences." Participants were given the opportunity to learn the latest trends in the ag industry, with a particular focus on technology to better manage water resources. The event included a panel discussion on future directions for water management from a local producer level to a global perspective. Water for Food Institute Director of Policy Nick Brozovic participated on the panel. Watch Market Journal video on NWBA.

Summer expedition to Kazakhstan
Kaz NU trip
On June 3-4, eight U.S. scientists and students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Texas Christian University joined for a trip to Almaty, Kazakhstan to present a workshop on environmental chemistry and aquatic toxicology with scientists and students at Al Farabi Kazakh National University. The workshop was followed by a four-day pilot project to Kazakhstan's Syr Darya River watershed to collect fish tissue, water samples, sediment and passive samplers to begin a multi-year study of the impact of past and present agricultural practices on fish species in this ecologically-stressed watershed. Participants included the Nebraska Water Center's Dan Snow and Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellows Alan Kolok and Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, among others. Learn more.

'Voices of the Platte' new radio segment on NET Radio
Voices of the Platte
A new series of audio essays explores how water intersects with the lives of farmers, scientists, teachers, policymakers and artists in Nebraska. "Voices of the Platte," a collaboration between NET Radio (91.1 FM) and the Platte Basin Timelapse project, features the Nebraska Water Center's Dan Snow and water resources expert Ann Bleed, among others. It will be broadcast on weekends Aug. 8-30. Listen to the full series online.

On the blog

Martin Merz
Cooperation and Water Security
Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow and political scientist Patrice McMahon argues that today's interdisciplinary research on water security and water management shows that water is frequently a conduit for cooperation and peaceful interactions rather than the cause of conflict around the world. In light of this idea, McMahon highlights her recent experience at the 2015 International Studies Association Conference in Poland. Read blog.

Visiting scholars get crash course in Nebraska water management, instream flow issues
As part of the Water for Food Institute's policy and social innovation programing, visiting scholars from the University of California, Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management are working with the institute to research innovative approaches to water management. Graduate student Martin Merz recaps their experience in Nebraska. Read blog.

Upcoming events

UNL briefing on food, energy, water funding opportunities | Aug. 17
center pivot irrigation BAlvarius Flickr
New potential funding opportunities in food, energy and water research are the focus of an Aug. 17 faculty briefing from 1-3 p.m. at Nebraska Innovation Campus. UNL faculty across disciplines are encouraged to register and attend. The meeting is the first of several fall events to organize UNL's response to a major new federal focus area, the Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems initiative. Learn more.

Stockholm World Water Week | Aug. 23-28
World Water Week 2015

On Aug. 27, the Water for Food Institute will co-convene (Re)thinking Governance at World Water Week in Stockholm. Other workshop partners include the Stockholm International Water Institute, UNDP Water Governance Facility at SIWI and the Water Integrity Network. World Water Week (Aug. 23-28) brings together experts, practitioners, decision-makers, business innovators and young professionals from a range of sectors and countries to network, exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions to today's most pressing water-related challenges. A digital poster showcasing Nebraska water innovations by Water for Food Institute interns Andrew Barry and Sierra Ramsay will also be on display during the international event. Learn more.

Transdisciplinary Conversations | Sept. 15
The University of Nebraska's Rural Futures Institute and Water for Food Institute are teaming up to host the next Transdisciplinary Conversations event Sept. 15 from 4:30-6 p.m. at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. It is open to all NU faculty, staff and students, as well as interested colleagues in the private and nonprofit sectors. University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds will provide opening remarks and UNK Professor of Exercise Science Todd Bartee will give a brief talk. Please register by Sept.11.

2015 Husker Harvest Days | Sept. 15-17
University of Nebraska-Lincoln research and Extension exhibits at this year's Husker Harvest Days ag expo will focus on planning and preparations for climate change under the theme of "Successfully Weathering Extremes." The show is Sept. 15-17 at the HHD exhibit grounds near Grand Island, Nebraska, USA. UNL's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Nebraska Water Center have been part of the show since it began in 1978. For the past nine years, NWC has managed the site and its facilities for IANR and provided mentoring and team-leadership for Extension's annual show leaders and exhibitors. Learn more.

International workshop on ET mapping for water security | Sept. 15-17
The Water for Food Institute is co-sponsoring the 2015 International Workshop on Evapotranspiration Mapping for Water Security Sept. 15-17 at the World Bank in Washington, DC, USA. The purpose of the workshop is to further advance the use of satellite data in mapping evapotranspiration to address water management challenges in the U.S. and around the world. It free and open to the water resources community, but registration is limited. Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow Ayse Kilic is on the organizing committee for this meeting. Download brochure and learn more.

EPA-USDA workshop on water quality markets | Sept. 15-17
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency will co-sponsor a national workshop on water quality markets at Nebraska Innovation Campus Sept. 15-17. The event, hosted by the Water for Food Institute, will highlight recent progress in water quality trading across the country with an emphasis on policy, resources and tool development. Registration ends Aug. 31. Learn more.

Nebraska Water Center planning retreat at UNK | Oct. 7
NWC retreat 2014
The Nebraska Water Center is organizing a retreat on Oct. 7 at the University of Nebraska at Kearney for current and potential partners from university, local, state and federal partners. The retreat is an opportunity for NU faculty and students to showcase their research and for partners to present their research questions and areas where further partnering may be beneficial. Please RSVP here by Sept. 11. Learn more.

2015 Plant Science Symposium | Oct. 15-16
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Center for Plant Science Innovation will host its 2015 Plant Science Symposium Oct. 15-16 at Nebraska Innovation Campus. "Plant Phenomics: From Pixels to Traits" is free to attendees. Registration ends after Oct. 1. Learn more.


Ivo Zution Goncalves, postdoctoral researcher
Ivo Zution Goncalves
Ivo Zution Goncalves is an agronomist engineer from Alegre, Espírito Santo, Brazil. He joined the Water for Food Institute in June 2015 as a postdoctoral researcher. He is working with Director of Research Christopher Neale on projects involving water resources, drip irrigation and remote sensing. He hopes to increase his understanding of remote sensing and how to apply it to irrigation, along with meeting new researchers and having new experiences in Nebraska.

He holds a doctorate in agriculture engineering (water and soil) from State University of Campinas in Brazil and a master's degree in plant production (planning and water resources management) from Federal University of Espírito Santo in Brazil.

The Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska was founded in 2010 by the Robert B. Daugherty Charitable 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.