Water for Food conference draws experts from around the world

Apr 4th, 2011 | By | Category: Campus News, March 31

Representatives from at least 24 countries are expected to participate in the third annual global Water for Food Conference May 1-4 at Lincoln’s Cornhusker Marriott Hotel.

In keeping with this year’s conference theme — “Paths to Solutions” — more than 40 speakers from universities, agriculture, industry, governments and nongovernmental organizations worldwide will explore potential solutions for growing more food with limited water to feed the world’s rapidly growing population.

The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are hosting the conference, which fosters international dialogue on key issues related to the use of water for agriculture. It provides opportunities to learn from speakers with extensive experience and perspectives from diverse cultures.

“This conference attracts experts from across Nebraska and around the world who are committed to developing solutions to one of mankind’s great challenges: how to feed a rapidly growing global population with finite amounts of land and water,” said James B. Milliken, NU president. “The University of Nebraska’s Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute, which builds on the university’s long history in water research and policy analysis, is taking a leadership role in this important international issue.”

Featured speakers will include Jeff Raikes, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Anil Jain, managing director, Jain Irrigation Ltd. of India; Anders Berntell, executive director, Stockholm International Water Institute; Pasquale Steduto, principal officer, United Nations/FAO Water; András Szöllösi-Nagy, rector, UNESCO-IHE; and others.

Sessions will include panel discussions featuring agricultural producers from several countries; an industry leaders panel offering industry perspectives on water for food challenges; a case study, “Securing Water for Agriculture: California’s High-Stakes Challenge;” and technical sessions on “Quantitative Food Security: Yield Gaps, Water and Nitrogen Productivity,” “Maximizing Water Use Efficiency in Agriculture,” “Pathways to Greater Food Production: Lessons from Ethiopia” and “Evaluation of Aquifer Resources in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Conference registration, schedule and speaker bios are available online at http://waterforfood.nebraska.edu/wff2011. Registration is free to NU faculty, staff and students who register online, compliments of the Water for Food Institute. Registration for non-NU participants is $250. For the latest information, follow the conference on Facebook and Twitter.

The conference is the preeminent event of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute, a research, policy and education institute established in 2010 and committed to efficiently using the world’s limited freshwater to ensure a reliable food supply.

– Vicki Miller, Research and Economic Development

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