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WFI hosts National Water Quality Markets Workshop
Mammoth Trading President and Water for Food Institute Program Associate Richael Young presents at the workshop.
Most people probably aren't familiar with water quality markets. Despite the headlines and stories covering drought, climate change and water contaminants, there's little in the news about a solution that promotes both water quality and quantity through market trading.
From September 15-17, 2015, the USDA and EPA co-sponsored a National Workshop on Water Quality Markets. The event was hosted by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska and coordinated by The Conservation Fund.
According to Ann Mills, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment and conference presenter, water quality markets can reduce costs of restoring waterways by allowing sources with high costs of meeting water quality requirements to purchase credits from sources that have lower costs of making the same water quality improvement. "Farmers often have lower costs of improving water quality," said Mills, "which makes farmers and ranchers excellent candidates for supplying water quality credits."
" This workshop provided the perfect opportunity to share recent progress in water quality trading across the country with an emphasis on policy, resources, and tool development," said Nick Brozovic, director of policy with workshop co-sponsor The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska.
More than 200 attendees from agriculture, utilities, industry, state agencies, and research institutions gathered at the University of Nebraska's Innovation Campus to discuss ways to improve and expand water quality markets across the country. Participants engaged in over 30 sessions that covered trading fundamentals, science and technology, best practices, tool development and case studies. The EPA and USDA shared their vision for the role of water quality markets in advancing conservation and water quality goals.
Roundtables continue climate change conversations
A year after the release of "Understanding and Assessing Climate Change: Implications for Nebraska," a report authored by four UNL climate scientists, the conversation on climate change and how it will affect the state is just getting started. 

"It's important for the public to get engaged in the discussion about climate change because it's an urgent issue for this and future generations," said Don Wilhite, professor and climatologist in UNL's School of Natural Resources and one of the report authors. "And, many of our political leaders are not taking the need for action seriously."

In response to growing public interest in climate change following the report's release, Wilhite and Kim Morrow, climate change resource specialist, have organized a series of one-day roundtable discussions throughout September and October. See the complete list.

"The goal of these roundtable events is to begin the engagement process with key sectors around the state," Wilhite said. "Actions must begin at the local level where the impacts are felt. Thus, we must engage a wide range of stakeholders." 

Attendees can expect to confront the issue of climate change from many diverse perspectives, Morrow said. 

"The eight roundtables we are hosting will engage, for example, questions like: Will we have more wildfires in Nebraska, and are we prepared to fight them? How will our hospitals respond to increasing public health needs like asthma, allergies and heat exhaustion? How can our colleges and universities lower their carbon footprint? How can our public utilities continue to reduce their C02 emissions and add more renewable energy," she said. 
Several free public lectures will be held as part of the series. Attendance by the public is encouraged. RSVPs are requested.
The roundtable meetings are invitation only. A code is required to RSVP.
For more information on the Roundtable Series, please contact Kim Morrow at kmorrow2@unl.edu or 402-472-8233.
The Water Advanced Research and Innovation (WARI) Fellowship Program
Water is a vital necessity for human development, the environment and the economy. Because of its global importance, the Department of Science and Technology, the government of India, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute, and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum have partnered to foster cooperation between students and scientists from both countries. The Water Advanced Research and Innovation (WARI) fellowship program is a dynamic and transformative program for students who want to pursue advanced academic research and/or other water-related careers. Learn more.
NU President Bounds and Professor Bartee lead Transdisciplinary Conversations

What does the Rural Futures Institute, Water for Food Institute, University of Nebraska  President Hank Bounds, University of Nebraska-Kearney Exercise Science Professor Todd Bartee and a roomful of creative faculty, students and community members have in common? They all made Tuesday night's Transdisciplinary Conversations event at  UNK a huge success. The future of NU and its advancement lies in collaborating to find the intersections between big questions and those that have a passion for finding the answers - which is what Transdisciplinary Conversations is all about.
The next Transdisciplinary Conference will be hosted by the National Strategic Research Institute in November, date and place to be determined.
NWC presents cool exhibits at hot Husker Harvest Days
University of Nebraska-Lincoln research and extension exhibits at this year's Husker Harvest Days ag expo focused on planning and preparations for climate change under the theme of "Successfully Weathering Extremes." The show ran 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.

James Chengchou Han demonstrated the new CornSoyWater application at Husker Harvest Days. Co-led by Water for Food Faculty Fellow Haishun Yang, the web and mobile app helps irrigators determine in real-time the available soil water in a particular field and when to irrigate. The program currently covers Nebraska and its surrounding states and will be expanded to other states later. 

Using real-ti me weather data and field specific crop information provided by the user, CornSoyWater uses simulation to track, from planting to harvest, crop water use, water inputs from rainfall and past irrigation, soil available water to the maximum rooting depth, and possible crop water stress. Irrigation is recommended for a field if crop water stress is indicated currently or within the next three days if no significant rainfall is expected. Learn more at http://cornsoywater.unl.edu or download the mobile app on Google Play.
International workshop on ET mapping for water security 
The Water for Food Institute co-sponsored 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 was to further advance the use of satellite data in mapping evapotranspiration to address water management challenges in the U.S. and around the world. Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow Ayse Kilic served on the organizing committee for this meeting. See the complete agenda online.
Upcoming events

2016 Water for Food Global Conference | April 24-26, 2016

Save the Date! The 2016 Water for Food Global Conference,  Catalytic Collaborations: Building Public-Private Partnerships for Water and Food Security,  April 24-26 at Nebraska Innovation Campus, is just around the corner.  Through compelling keynote addresses, panel discussions, poster presentations, tours and side events, the conference will showcase how PPPs can be a catalyst for change in approaching water and food security now and in our future.

Dennis Flanagan Seminar I Sep. 24
USDA Research Agricultural Engineer Dennis Flanagan
USDA Research Agricultural Engineer Dennis Flanagan will give a seminar at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 24th in the Columbine Room of the East Campus Union. His seminar "USDA Process-based Tool for Estimating Runoff, Soil Loss, and Sediment Yield - The WEPP Model," will draw on the USDA's 30 year experience with the WEPP model, applications, interfaces and databases.  First publicly released in 1995, WEPP simulates the important physical processes that affect soil erosion, including infiltration, percolation, runoff and plant growth, among others.
Nebraska Water Center planning retreat at UNK | Oct. 7
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. 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.

Implications of a Changing Arctic on Water Resource and Agriculture in the Central U.S. | Nov. 10-12
Evidence is showing that changes in the Arctic climate are influencing mid-latitude weather patterns around the world. Although much remains to be determined, new research shows that reductions in snow and sea ice, and warming temperatures in the Arctic may be influencing the behavior of the jet stream and severe and extreme weather in the mid-states. As the US is currently chairing the Arctic Council, greater attention is now being given to this critical part of the globe.

Dr. Jennifer Francis, a research professor with the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutger's University is presenting a public keynote "Crazy Weather and the Arctic Meltdown: Are They Connected," at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at Nebraska Innovation Campus.

Come to this workshop to contribute to future research, planning decisions and the identification of possible adaptation and mitigation strategies in response to these critical changes.  More information and registration is available here.
Food Security Implications of a Changing Arctic | Nov. 12-13
Together with Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., WFI is co-hosting addendum workshops titled, "Food Security Implications of a Changing Arctic" November 12-13, 2015, to further explore the impact of climate change in the Artic on food producing regions in the Midwest.
Session #1: Impacts of Arctic Climate Change on Agriculture and Food Security.  12:30-17:00 Thursday, November 12, 2015, Nebraska Innovation Campus, Lincoln, Nebraska
Session #2: Satellite Remote Sensing of the Arctic. 08:00-12:00, Friday, November 13, 2015, Marriott Courtyard Conference Room, Lincoln, NE
Sessions will feature an invited keynote speaker and two 90-minute panel sessions. Abstracts are strongly encouraged for participation in the panel sessions.
Abstract submissions are due to Dr. Eric Hunt ( ehunt@aer.com) by COB on 1 October 2015.
Registration is required for attendance in "Implications of a Changing Arctic on Water Resources and Agriculture in the Central U.S" but there are no fees. Registration is available here.
Questions may be directed to the workshop co-chairs: Drs. Eric Hunt (Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.) and Christopher Neale (Daugherty Water for Food Institute, University of Nebraska) 
Students to study in Ethiopia
Faculty Fellow Martha Mamo will lead students on a WFI-supported program, "Ethiopia Study Abroad: International Agriculture," Dec. 9, 2015 - Jan. 6, 2016. The students will focus on:
  • Natural resources management strategies
  • Smallholder farming in diverse agro-ecological settings
  • Adaptations and coping mechanisms to environmental conditions
  • Food systems and farm household dynamics
  • Traditions, culture, historical sites, and landscapes 
Click here to watch a longer version of the Ethiopia study abroad video. 

Water funding opportunities
Indo-U.S. 21st Century Knowledge Initiative 
Deadline: November 2

The United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) announces an open competition for the support of projects through the Indo-U.S. 21st Century Knowledge Initiative awards (formerly known as the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative). Announced by the U.S. and Indian governments, Knowledge Initiative aims to strengthen collaboration and build partnerships between American and Indian institutions of higher education.
Deadline: December 31, 2015

USAID/India's invitation to prospective implementing partners (e.g. NGOs, private sector concerns, and others) who can engage and work with resource partners (e.g. corporations, local businesses, foundations, and others). USAID/India is specifically seeking Indian implementing organizations (for-profit and not-for-profit) and non-traditional Indian development partners, to reach out to Indian resource partners and explore ways in which collaboration with USAID/India might help each partner - private sector, NGO, and public sector contributors - to more effectively address key issues, advance shared development goals, and achieve exceptional development results and impacts in India and beyond.

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.