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Reserve your spot today: 2016 Water for Food Global Conference
Registration is open now for the 2016 Water for Food Global Conference, "Catalytic Collaborations: Building Public-Private Partnerships for Water and Food Security." The event will take place April 24-26 at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. The early registration discount ends after March 18. Reserve your spot today! Learn more.

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Water for Food partners with KANEKO in WATER exhibit
Kaneko WATER exhibit logo
Water is essential to life, at times calming, at other times powerful and difficult to control; seemingly abundant, but increasingly scarce. Exploring and understanding water in a multitude of forms - as an environmental resource and as one of nature's most versatile tools - is the theme of this collaborative exhibition. WATER examines the creative solutions artists, scientists, companies and non-profits develop to solve issues of water quality and quantity. These concepts are highlighted through the combination of scientific data and fine art, encouraging visitors to consider their own relationship with water - how water impacts our community, health and perspectives.

The Water for Food Institute helped coordinate and create exhibits on several projects involving WFI staff and Faculty Fellows. In addition, the institute co-commissioned a large art installation by artist Matt Dehaemers that exemplifies the vital need to ensure water security and celebrating the ambitious research that is tackling this global issue.

The exhibit runs through April 23 at KANEKO, a creativity museum at 1111 Jones Street in Omaha, Nebraska. Learn more.
KANKEO art installation

Trip marks five-year partnership with UNESCO-IHE
Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow Dean Eisenhauer and Ron Yoder, associate vice chancellor of UNL's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, visited the UNESCO-IHE Institute of Water Education in Delft, the Netherlands last month to mark the five-year anniversary of the institutes' partnership programs. Eisenhauer, who serves as partnership coordinator, delivered 15 hours of lectures on irrigation water management during the recent visit, among other activities. WFI has several partnership programs with UNESCO-IHE that were the focus of discussions during the trip:
  • Double Master of Science degree program emphasizing Advanced Water Management for Food Production
  • Biennial two-week field course/field trip held in Nebraska emphasizing field measurement methods in irrigation and hydrology and tours of Nebraska's irrigation and water resources industries to be held for the third time in May 2016
  • Biennial two-week field tour of European water development with UNL graduate students
  • Ph.D. program in hydroinformatics mentored by Dimitri Solomatine and Gerald Corzo Perez at UNESCO-IHE and Francisco Munoz-Arriola and Dean Eisenhauer at UNL
  • Development of short courses/online courses
  • Shared teaching opportunities between UNESCO-IHE faculty and UNL faculty
UNESCO-IHE visit group
From left: Annelieke Duker, junior lecturer and teaching coordinator in Land and Water Development Chair Group, UNESCO-IHE; Charlotte de Fraiture, head, Water Science and Engineering Department, UNESCO-IHE; Laszlo Hayde, senior lecturer in Land and Water Development Chair Group and UNESCO-IHE coordinator of double degree program; Dean Eisenhauer, WFI coordinator of UNESCO-IHE Partnership Programs; Ron Yoder, associate vice chancellor of UNL's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Fritz Holzwarth, rector interim, UNESCO-IHE.

New report outlines climate roundtable discussions
A new University of Nebraska-Lincoln report shares the findings from eight roundtable discussions on the implications of climate change, hosted last fall by the UNL School of Natural Resources and supported in part by the Water for Food Institute. Participating sectors included:
  • Ecosystems and wildlife
  • Human health
  • Forests and fire
  • Agriculture, food and water
  • Energy availability, use and management
  • Faith communities
  • College campuses
  • Urban and rural communities
The a report notes UNL's important role in leading the development of adaptation and mitigation measures, and also in educating policymakers, decision-makers and the public about climate change. Read report.

New research points to humans' role in drought
Drought is a complex, multifaceted issue. It is not solely a natural phenomenon. People play a significant role in how dry spells play out. Climatologist and Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow Mark Svoboda is part of a team of international scientists researching human influence on drought mitigation and management. Learn more.

Read full article in Nature Geoscience.

Grassini awarded Junior Faculty for Excellence in Research Award
Patricio Grassini, University of Nebraska-Lincoln cropping systems agronomist and Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow, has been named recipient of the Junior Faculty for Excellence in Research Award provided by the Branham Endowment Fund for 2015-2016. The award is given annually by UNL's Agricultural Research Division to tenure-track assistant professors with an ARD appointment who have a maximum of five years professional service at UNL, and is based on publication record, evidence of external funding activity and peer recognition. Grassini is pictured at left with ARD Dean Archie Clutter. Learn more.

Campos publishes remote sensing research in Journal of Hydrology
Med Landscape
Former Water for Food Institute postdoctoral researcher Isidro Campos is the lead author of new research published in the Journal of Hydrology. The paper analyzes the application of soil water balance models using remote sensing data to make water stress predictions in a Mediterranean climate.

This publication was authorized by researchers of WFI-UNL, University of Castilla-La Mancha and the CEAM: Center for Mediterranean Environmental Studies (Spain) in the framework of the project CERESS, funded by the Spanish Science and Innovation Ministry, co-funded FEDER. Read paper.

Lenton gives webinar on managing water for food security
Engineering for Change Webinar Slide
On Jan. 22, Water for Food Institute Founding Executive Director Roberto Lenton presented an Engineering for Change webinar on managing water for food security. His presentation explored the complex challenge of ensuring sustainable global food and water security in the wake of population and income increases, a changing climate and the growing demand for water resources, with a special focus on practical ways to improve water use and management in agricultural and food systems. It is archived online. Watch now.

Enter now: Water for Food Global Conference photography contest
Photo contest banner

Calling all photographers! What does 'Water for Food' look like to you? Is it a droplet of rain on a cassava crop? Is it a massive earthen dam? Is it rice farmers in Bangladesh or wheat farmers in North Dakota? We invite you to capture those moments that show Water for Food through the lens of your eyes and send them to us as part of the 2016 Water for Food Global Conference Photography Contest. Submissions are due April 10. Learn more.
Nebraska Water Center updates

NWC retreat 2014
Water Faculty Retreat
The Nebraska Water Center is hosting a water faculty retreat at Lincoln's Wilderness Ridge Lodge Tuesday, Feb. 16. The intent of the retreat is to form a small number of interdisciplinary groups that can prepare proposals to federal, state and local agencies. Learn more.

2015 Annual Report
The Nebraska Water Center's 2015 annual report will soon be available in print and online. To request a hard copy, e-mail Tricia Liedle or phone (+1) 402.472.3305. In addition to recounting research, outreach and programming conducted by or in cooperation with the NWC over the past year, the report recognizes the 25th anniversary of the NU Water Sciences Laboratory.

IRES call for applications
The International Research Experiences for Students program is seeking science and engineering students who want to do collaborative research in the Czech Republic this summer. IRES is a National Science Foundation-funded program that is open to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students majoring in science or engineering. One particular IRES project, coordinated by Nebraska Water Center Director Chittaranjan Ray, is looking to facilitate U.S.-Czech student research experience on "Research on Vadose Zone for Understanding Water and Chemical Transport at Various Scales" between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Czech Technical University (CTU) at Prague. It will be held at CTU June 5 to July 29 and applications are now being solicited. The application deadline is Feb. 29. Learn more.
On the blog

Nebraska Water Sciences Lab: 25 years on the cutting edge of University of Nebraska research
WSL technician
The Nebraska Water Sciences Laboratory turns 25 this year! We reflect on the lab's role at the University of Nebraska and how it evolved as one of the nation's premiere resources in answering the question: "what's in the water?" Read blog.
Upcoming events

Food processing seminar | Feb. 15
Interested in learning about water in food processing? UNL Department of Food Science and Technology Ph.D. student Yulie Meneses will present, "Whey-recovered water in CIP systems: its feasibility, safety and economic implications. A case study on water conservation for the dairy industry." This project is supported with funding from the Water for Food Institute.

Monday, Feb. 15
3:30 p.m. reception, 2nd flr student lounge
4 p.m. seminar, auditorium, FIC 277
Food Innovation Center
Nebraska Innovation Campus
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Central Plains Irrigation Conference and Expo | Feb. 23-24
This tri-state meeting is sponsored by the Central Plains Irrigation Association with the educational program coordinated by Extension programs in Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado.  Several NU faculty are presenting during the event. See brochure.

Feb. 23-24
Holiday Inn
Kearney, Nebraska, USA

Improving food production for health seminar | Feb. 24
Norman Uphoff
Norman T. Uphoff of Cornell University will present, "Improving Food Production for Health in a Water Constrained World: Opportunities Deriving from Agroecological Knowledge and Experience" as part of the Nebraska Water Center and UNL School of Natural Resources spring water seminar series.

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Hardin Hall, UNL East Campus
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

See the full seminar schedule.

Transdisciplinary Conversations | March 10

TDC promot graphic
Join us for a special Transdisciplinary Conversations event in partnership with KANEKO. The museum's WATER exhibition will be the focus of the event. Register now.

Thursday, March 10, 5-7 p.m.
KANEKO , 1111 Jones St.
Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Conference on water security, Syrian refugee crisis | April 19
Oxfam photo of children in Jordan with water tap
Save the Date!
International Conference on Water Security and the Syrian Refugee Crisis
Tuesday, April 19
Nebraska Innovation Campus
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

As a result of the civil conflict, threats to water and food security in Syria and surrounding nations are a daily reality. Come learn from international experts about the refugee crisis and the ripple of humanitarian concerns. The conference is being co-organized by the Water for Food Institute, the Harris Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the International Arid Lands Consortium.
(Photo: Karl Schembri/Oxfam, Flickr)

Spotlight: featured faculty  

Francisco Munoz-Arriola, hydroinformaticist and integrated hydrologist
Francisco Munoz-Arriola
Francisco Munoz-Arriola's research and extension activities focus on helping agricultural decision-makers more easily upload, transform, store and analyze water, agricultural, fuel consumption and weather/climate data to improve decision-making and our ability to predict the effects of extreme weather events on the sustainability of human activities and ecosystems.

Munoz-Arriola uses climate and hydrologic models and information technologies to study the interconnected processes of the water-food-energy nexus in a changing climate, as well as their impacts on agro-ecosystems and ecosystems sustainability.

He holds a doctorate in civil and environmental engineering from Duke University and completed two postdoctoral appointments at University of Washington and University of California, San Diego. He has a master's degree in coastal oceanography and bachelor's degree in oceanography from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California.

Watch a short video to learn more about his work. 
Water funding opportunities

U.S. Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture
International Wheat Yield Partnership Program

Funding opportunity: USDA-NIFA-AFRI-005515
Deadline: Letter of Intent due March 1; Applications due May 3
Award amount: Standard grants are up to US $1 million for projects of up to three years; coordinated agricultural projects are up to US $10 million for projects of up to five years.

NIFA in coordination with the International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP), requests applications to seek breakthroughs for cereal breeding using new technologies and also discoveries that lead to significantly greater grain size, grain set and grain filling duration following embryo formation, in diverse environments, without compromising grain protein concentration in Triticeae species.

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.