Water for Food

Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute brings leadership to the World Water Forum

March 18-23, 2018

World Water Forum Graphic

The challenges to ensuring we have enough water to feed our growing world population are daunting – poverty, conflict, climate change, soil erosion, lack of technology and training, and increasing demand for meat and dairy products are straining our limited water resources. More than ever, dialogue between different actors is required to develop innovative solutions through public and private actions to promote better water resource quality and sustainability.

The triennial World Water Forum is the largest international gathering to focus on water. With the overarching theme “Sharing Water,” the 8th World Water Forum proposes to foster this dialogue to promote cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and perspectives. This will be the first World Water Forum to be held in the Southern Hemisphere in Brasilia, Brazil.

The Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute is pleased to co-lead the conference track, “Water for Food” with partners in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Together, we are developing sessions to focus on the exciting new technologies and best practices to improving water and food security for our world.

Session Titles and Descriptions:

Monday, March 19, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Thematic Process [OS-TP-22] Session 3.a.1
Soil and Water Conservation Practices for Improved Food Production

Room 16

Soil conservation practices in agriculture are an effective way to promote a real increase in the availability of water in watersheds. Correct soil management, soil infiltration and porosity monitoring and improvement, new cropping technologies, and efficient irrigation management can help farmers to better understand water productivity and soil health conditions. However, without the direct involvement of the farmer, the information will not be put to effective use. This session will include case studies, as well as discussions on ways to successfully introduce and implement effective tools and techniques for disseminating information and technology on improving soil and water conservation practices and availability of water in river basins. SDG Goals: 6.3, 6.4, 6.6 and 2.4

Christopher Neale, Director of Research, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute
Charles Wortmann, Professor, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Faculty Fellow, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute

Tuesday, March 20, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Water for Food High Level Panel [HLP 9]
Águas Claras Auditorium, Room 34

From population growth and climate change to overpumping and civil conflict, the challenges to water and food security for future generations are the most urgent of our time. With agriculture consuming the lion’s share of our freshwater resources, we must find ways to intensify agricultural production while maximizing its effective use of water. The Water for Food High Level Panel will explore the prominent topics within water and food security:

  • Technologies that support the increase of agricultural productivity
  • Efficient use of water in agriculture and food production
  • Managing water through the food chain: stopping food loss and food waste
  • Conflict resolution among multiple users of water (Urban, Industrial, Ecology, Agriculture)
  • Mining and use of big data, spatial information and in-field sensors for optimizing production
  • Improving access to irrigation for smallholder farmers
  • Water storage to improve availability for production
  • Financing of Infrastructure for measuring and managing surface and groundwater. Expected Outcomes: A summarizing document with the key messages presented by the panelists and captured from the responses to moderator and audience questions.

Moderator: Peter G. McCornick, Executive Director, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute

  1. Tom Vilsack, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
  2. Canisius Kanangire, Executive Secretary, African Ministers Council on Water
  3. Isabel García Tejerina, Minister of Agricultura, Pesca, Alimentação e Meio Ambiente of Spain
  4. Mauricio Antonio Lopes, President of Embrapa
  5. Celestino Zanella, Farmer and Irrigator, President of AIBA, The Association of Farmers and Irrigators of Bahia, Brazil

Tuesday, March 20, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Thematic Process [OS-TP-23] Session 3.a.2
Water for Food Processing: Waste Reduction, Optimization and Reuse

Room 16

One-third of all food is wasted as it moves from field to fork. Besides the economic costs, wasted food consumes a quarter of all water used by agriculture annually, while putting pressure on land and energy resources. Thus, cutting food waste could get us closer to feeding 9 billion people by 2050. This session will explore strategies for accounting and reducing food losses in the supply chain, while integrating opportunities for water optimization and reuse in the food-processing sector as an additional approach to reduce waste. These strategies will be analyzed using tools and comparison metrics for the decision making process. SDG Goals: 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6

Yulie Meneses, Research Assistant Professor, Food Science and Technology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Water for Food Processing Specialist, Daugherty Water for Food Institute

Tuesday, March 20, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Thematic Process [OS-TP-24] Session 3.a.3
Floods, Droughts, Wind, Fire: Building Resilient Agricultural Systems

Room 16

Changing climate will pose additional challenges to agriculture, livestock and food production systems with more frequent climatic extremes. Building resilience to these events includes a number of conservation practices as well as the use of information resources and biotechnology. The introduction of better soil and water conservation practices, the development crop varieties resistant to drought and other stresses, the introduction of sustainable irrigation systems and the implementation of climate monitoring and early warning systems are some of the ways we can ensure food security despite uncertain climatic conditions. This session will explore some of these techniques along with infrastructure needs and information systems to improve resilience in agricultural areas. SDG Goals: 13.1, 13.3, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 6.4

Mark Svoboda, Climatologist; Director, National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Faculty Fellow, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute

Tuesday, March 20, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Regional Process [OS-RP-34]
Lessons in Sustainable Groundwater Management from the Mid and West U.S.

Arena 2, Room 22

Recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach in water management, we offer lessons learned from nine case studies that span six western U.S. states, capturing the different physical, political, and socio-economic contexts that influence management strategies and tools. Each study offers fresh and unique insight for water managers—a sort of toolbox—on how they could adapt proven methodologies to best fit their own local context. Some key solutions explored in the report include scenarios from Colorado, Nebraska and Arizona, USA.
Developing and implementing groundwater policy isn’t easy. In fact, it took some of the places mentioned in the case studies decades and a lot of expertise and investment to get to where they are today. But the basins obligated to comply with water usage regulations—not to mention regions around the world struggling to meet water demands—have an advantage: they can learn from the experiences of water managers across the American West.

Moderator: Nick Brozović, Director of Policy, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute
Kate Gibson, Program Associate, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute
John Berge, Manager, North Platte Natural Resources District
Scott Snell, Public Relations Manager, Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District

Wednesday, March 21, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Development [OS-TP-31] Session 3.d.1
Efficient Use of Water through Governance

Room 28

Proper management of surface and groundwater is a strategic mechanism to promote efficient water use. In many countries, surface and groundwater are managed separately due to political, social, geographical and historical precedents. This session will explore the existing and emerging opportunities for effectively engaging stakeholders in the planning and implementation of coordinated water management to promote efficiency use of water with social, environment and economic approaches.

John Berge, Manager of the North Platte Natural Resources District (USA)

Wednesday, March 21, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Side Event [SE 47]
Water Accounting for Water Governance and Sustainable Development

Room 41

In many river basins, lack of progress towards sustainable development can be traced to constraints imposed by limited availability and access to water. This session follows the accepted view that barriers to economic growth, food production, poverty reduction and environmental protection can be mitigated through good water governance. But good water governance needs underpinning by a clear understanding of hydrological processes, more and better quality data, and a means of interpreting it for a wide range of professionals across the water and water-using sectors, to provide common understanding and agreement on the means of improving water management. Water accounting can help in improving management and governance of scarce water resources. It is hoped that the session will stimulate interest at political level in the vital role water accounting can play.

Christopher Neale, Director of Research, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute

Exhibit Hall
The institute will have a booth at the World Water Forum’s Exhibit Hall to enhance visibility, share information and provide a location for networking during the event. The space will be in proximity to other U.S.-based water and food institutions, building the presence of the U.S. at the forum.

Booth #E28K

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