Water for Food

Free conference examines water scarcity and humanitarian implications of the Syrian Crisis

April 6, 2016, Lincoln, Neb. — On April 19, students and experts on water issues in the Middle East will present a one-day conference to discuss the important water security and humanitarian implications of the Syrian refugee crisis, focusing on the impacts in Jordan. “Water Scarcity, Human Security and Democratization: Aspects and Impacts of the Syrian Crisis” will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Nebraska Innovation Campus conference center, 2021 Transformation Dr. It is free and open to the public with online registration requested by April 11: http://wfiglobal.org/10mIFt. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.


Jordan is one of the driest countries in the world and its scarce water supply is disappearing through its aging infrastructure. How does a country that needs every drop of water in its sandy soil absorb 1 million Syrian refugees? This is the situation four undergraduate students and three staff members of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska examined during a weeklong study tour of Jordan in March.

The team met with several leaders of non-profit organizations, governmental agencies and researchers with University of Jordan to learn about the solutions they are developing to improve water security in the region. They also visited Za’atari refugee camp, the largest temporary settlement site in Jordan, housing nearly 80,000 former Syrian residents. The students will discuss what they learned during their experience in Jordan and photos and videos from the trip will be displayed during the conference.

The event will also feature a variety of speakers and panel discussions providing perspectives from governmental and nongovernmental agencies, as well as academia.

Keynote speakers include, among others:

  • Khaldon Khashman, secretary general, Arab Countries Water Utilities Association
  • Anders Jagerskog, counsellor, Regional Development Cooperation, Water Resources, Embassy of Sweden in Jordan
  • Clive Lipchin, director, Center for Transboundary Water Management, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel

The Water for Food Institute’s study tour students include:

  • James Garza, Global Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Maiya Shahwan, Global Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Morgan Spiehs, School of Journalism, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Maddie Thorn, Global Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

For more details on the conference, including the full agenda and registration page, visit: http://wfiglobal.org/10mIFt.

The event is co-convened by the Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska, the Norman and Bernice Harris Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the International Arid Lands Consortium in partnership with the Forsythe Family Foundation in Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Global Studies Program and Department of Political Science.


The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska was founded in 2010 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 Robert B. Daugherty 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.

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