2012 Conference | May 30-June 1, 2012
Water for Food

2012 Water for Food Conference

The fourth annual global Water for Food Conference, May 30-June 1, 2012, will bring together experts from around the world to discuss how advances in science, technology and policy will help rainfed and irrigated agriculture sustainably feed an increasingly hungry and thirsty world.

Please register, check out the schedule and join us for Blue Water, Green Water and the Future of Agriculture, hosted by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at The Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln, Neb., USA.

Agriculture depends on water: the “blue” water pumped from our aquifers, rivers, lakes and dams, and the “green” water that falls as rain and is stored in our fields. Increasing water productivity through new technologies, improved crops and innovative management practices and policies is one of the greatest challenges facing agriculture – for farming operations large and small, irrigated and rainfed, in developed and developing economies, for policymakers and for resource managers.

Diverse speakers and panel discussions
The conference will feature plenary addresses by Roberto Lenton, founding executive director of the Daugherty Water for Food Institute; Malin Falkenmark, senior scientific adviser, Stockholm International Water Institute; Colin Chartres, director general, International Water Management Institute; Ruth Meinzen-Dick, senior research fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute; Benedito Braga, vice President, World Water Council; and others.

The conference also will feature:

  • Industry Leaders panel, moderated by Jeff Raikes, CEO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, offering industry perspectives on water for food, and presented by Global Harvest Initiative.
  • “A View From the Field” panel featuring an international group of agricultural producers.
  • “Women, Water and Food” roundtable discussion.
  • Technical sessions on “Characterizing Groundwater Resources” and “Emerging Crop Technologies for Improving Performance in Tough Environments.”
  • Case studies on innovative water governance in Nebraska and Brazil.
  • Graduate student poster competition focused on conference themes.
  • Post-conference tour of Nebraska agriculture and integrated water management, presented by Syngenta.
  • Live webstreams of selected presentations and panels.

The challenge
By 2050 the world population is expected to increase 40 percent and the demand for food and feed will double. Irrigated agriculture uses 70 percent of the world’s freshwater withdrawals, and 60 percent of the food supply is produced by rainfed agriculture. Water supplies worldwide face increasing demands from expanding urban populations and a changing climate holds unknown risks. We must grow more food using less water. How can we increase crop yields from both rainfed and irrigated agriculture while reducing the amount of water used?

The Water for Food Conference is a unique opportunity to share ideas, explore solutions and learn from scientists, farmers, scholars, policymakers and industry leaders from around the world.

About the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute
The Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska is a research, policy and education institute committed to efficiently using our limited freshwater supplies to ensure a reliable food supply for current and future generations. Thanks to a generous $50 million founding gift commitment from the Robert B. Daugherty Charitable Foundation, the Water for Food Institute has the resources to push forward its work on the critical issues of water and food security. Participants in the 2012 Water for Food Conference will help to inform this important work.

Nebraska is a global food producer, irrigates the most acres of cropland in the U.S. and is the steward of vast water resources, including the more than 2 billion acre feet of water in the High Plains Aquifer that lies beneath the state. This expansive natural laboratory, combined with the knowledge and dedication of Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers and the expertise of the University of Nebraska faculty who work in the areas of water and food both locally and globally, make the state the ideal site for the Water for Food Institute and conference.

Register today and join us in Lincoln, Neb., on May 30-June 1, 2012, to discuss how managing our blue water and green water resources will affect the future of global agriculture.

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