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Water for Food Institute contributes to Swedish FAO report on water, food security and nutrition
Swedish FAO report cover
The Water for Food Institute, together with the Swedish Committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, is pleased to share the new report, "Water, Food Security and Human Dignity - A Nutrition Perspective." This report examines various issues related to the importance of water in ensuring global food security. Founding Executive Director Roberto Lenton and Faculty Fellow Donald Wilhite, a climatologist in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's School of Natural Resources, authored the section, "Disastrous drought: society's new normal" (Box 2, p. 29-30).

The section underscores the need for a more proactive approach to cope with severe and prolonged droughts. Drs. Lenton and Wilhite urge nations to think more strategically about drought, emphasizing preparedness, risk reduction and water conservation year round. Establishing drought policies focused on risk reduction instead of using a piecemeal approach would help countries develop a framework to build resilience and use resources more effectively. Read report.

Lower Platte River kayak tour
LPRCA kayak tour
On July 21, Water for Food Institute Communications Director Molly Nance and Assistant Director Rachael Herpel put their paddles in the Platte with more than 40 other kayakers participating in the Lower Platte River Corridor Alliance's annual kayak tour event. The LPRCA began hosting the tours in the summer of 2010 as a way to get people to discover both the beauty and dynamism of the river, as well as to learn about the important work being done by the LPRCA, its members, and its partners to protect the critical natural, historical, and social resources of the Lower Platte River. Nance presented information about the Water for Food Institute during the picnic lunch held at Louisville State Recreation Area.

On the blog

UNL students experience European water tour
Two University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate students recently completed a two-week international field course through UNESCO-IHE, an international institute for water education based in Delft, the Netherlands. UNESCO-IHE equips graduates with the knowledge, skills and competencies they need to address current and future challenges for sustainable local, regional and global water management, with a particular focus on a development context.
Katherine Smith

During the course, Isaiah Krutak and Katherine Smith joined 26 other students from around the world, touring six European countries to explore water programs and projects. Each site was selected for its engineering achievement or notable natural feature. In addition to learning about the ecological, social and engineering challenges of these sites, the students gained valuable cultural experiences and learned from each other. Read blog.

Upcoming events

Stockholm World Water Week | Aug. 23-28
World Water Week 2015
World Water Week will take place Aug. 23-28 in Stockholm, Sweden. Organized annually by the Stockholm International Water Institute, the global event 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. On Aug. 27, the workshop (Re)thinking Governance will be co-convened by the Water for Food Institute; Stockholm International Water Institute; UNDP Water Governance Facility at SIWI and Water Integrity Network. Learn more.

EPA-USDA workshop on water quality markets | Sept. 15-17
U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environment 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. The EPA and USDA will present their vision for the role of water quality markets in advancing conservation and water quality goals, and provide participants with the tools necessary to engage in water quality markets. The registration deadline is Aug. 14. Learn more.

2015 Plant Science Symposium | Oct. 15-16
NIC greenhouse
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. The registration deadline is Oct. 1. Learn more.


Pongpun Juntakut, doctoral student
Pongpun Juntakut
Pongpun Juntakut is a doctoral student from Thailand working with Nebraska Water Center Director Chittaranjan Ray. His research is focused on studying groundwater quality and modeling in the vadose zone. He is working on several articles dealing with long-term trends in groundwater contamination and salinization in the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska.

He is pursuing a doctorate in civil engineering (water resources) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In his home country, he worked as a lecturer and a lieutenant colonel at the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy. He earned a master's degree in civil engineering from Bundeswehr University in Munich, Germany.

Patricia Song, graduate student
Patricia Song
Patricia Song is a graduate student from Los Angeles, Calif. She is studying water resources management at the University of California, Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. This summer, she is working with Director of Policy Nick Brozovic on various projects. Her interests include current and potential issues involved with water and sustaining global food production. Through her work, she hopes to gain a better understanding of how water affects the political, economic and social aspects of growing food.

Patricia and another student traveled Nebraska and the surrounding states earlier this summer to interview water trust practitioners, water rights holders and governmental officials involved in water management and water markets for instream flows. The goal of the project is to learn more about how water trusts operate through wet and dry cycles, and about how and when temporary lease transactions take place for instream flows.

She holds a bachelor's degree in environmental systems (ecology, behavior and evolution) from the University of California, San Diego.

Water funding opportunities

USDA NIFA - Small Business Innovation Research Program Phase I    
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invites science-based small business firms to submit research applications under this program solicitation entitled "Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) - Phase I, Fiscal Year 2016." Objectives include increasing private sector commercialization of innovations derived from USDA-supported research and development efforts.
Funding opportunity #: USDA-NIFA-SBIR-005277
CFDA number(s): 10.212
Due date for applications: Oct. 8, 2015
Award amount: $100,000 for 8 to 20 months

Indo-U.S. 21st Century Knowledge Initiative
The United States-India Educational Foundation announces an open competition for the support of projects through the Indo-U.S. 21st Century Knowledge Initiative. To encourage mutual understanding, facilitate educational reform, foster economic development and engage civil society, the 21st Century Knowledge Initiative enables U.S. colleges and universities and Indian counterpart institutions to pursue objectives cooperatively through exchange visits of faculty, administrators, post graduate Indian students and U.S. graduate students who can demonstrate the ability to work independently.
Application due date: Nov. 2, 2015
Award amount: $190,000 for a three-year period

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 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.