Water for Food

Water for Food Global Conference will focus on public-private partnerships to achieve water, food security, April 24-26

Feb. 9, 2016, Lincoln, Neb. — Registration is open now for the 2016 Water for Food Global Conference organized by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska. The conference will be held April 24-26 at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. A discount of $100 is available to those who register on or before March 18. Conference details, including how to register, are available at http://waterforfood.nebraska.edu/wff2016/.

The conference brings together experts from around the world to discuss advances in science, technology and policy to help address one of the most urgent challenges of the 21st century: how to achieve greater food security with less pressure on water resources.

This year’s theme is “Catalytic Collaborations: Building Public-Private Partnerships for Water and Food Security,” focusing on the powerful impact that can be achieved through public-private partnerships (PPPs) in water for food research, technology and project development.

The conference features a mix of plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, side events and workshops representing different voices in PPPs. There will also be various special events to facilitate networking among participants, including a workshop on smallholder irrigation in Africa co-convened with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and KickStart; the world premiere of “Thirsty Land,” a documentary feature film; a student poster competition; photography competition and exhibit; farm-to-table dinner and closing reception with live music.

Session topics:

  • Irrigation research and technology for smallholder farmers, including remote
    sensing and apps that help farmers target water usage to maximize yields
  • Agricultural solutions in both crop development and management; and livestock
  • Information technology to improve water and agricultural productivity
  • Food processing advancements to reduce water use in the food and beverage sector
  • Mitigating the effects of climate change on water and food security and public health
  • The rapidly-growing agricultural entrepreneurship ecosystem and its role in PPPs

Plenary speakers:

  • Hank Bounds, president, University of Nebraska
  • Melissa Ho, managing director, Africa at Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • Martin Fisher, co-founder and CEO, KickStart
  • Patricia Mulroy, senior fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institute and former general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District
  • Jeff Raikes, co-founder, Raikes Foundation and Water for Food Institute board chair
  • Executive director-designate, Water for Food Institute
  • Sally Rockey, executive director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research – Closing Keynote and Heuermann Lecture

Registration fees:

  • Early registration runs through March 18: $450
  • Regular registration runs March 19 to April 15: $550
  • Registration for university faculty and staff: $250

The previous conference in Seattle, Washington attracted more than 250 practitioners, scholars, farmers and thought leaders from 23 countries. This year, the conference will return to Nebraska.

Roberto Lenton, founding executive director of the Water for Food Institute, said the international event is a key part of the institute’s efforts to provide educational outreach and facilitate partnerships beyond Nebraska.

“We look forward to holding the conference at Nebraska Innovation Campus for the first time, as well as hearing perspectives from speakers from around the globe who represent important facets of public-private partnerships, including those from NGOs, governmental groups, philanthropy, industry and academia,” he said. “The event provides an excellent forum to bring together diverse voices and to help catalyze change.”

Stay up-to-date with the latest information on the 2016 Water for Food Global Conference by visiting http://waterforfood.nebraska.edu/wff2016/ and following the institute on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Generous support for the 2016 conference is provided by the Robert. B. Daugherty Foundation, the University of Nebraska, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Syngenta. Those interested in sponsorship opportunities may contact Rachael Herpel at rherpel@nebraska.edu or (+1) 402.472.4977.


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.

The University of Nebraska has invested in four interdisciplinary, university-wide institutes — including the Water for Food Institute — that leverage talent and research-based expertise from across the University of Nebraska system to focus on complex state, national and global challenges. Learn more at waterforfood.nebraska.edu.

Writer: Dana Ludvik

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