Water for Food


Finding what works: Groundwater management in the western U.S.

By Kate Gibson, program coordinator This article originally appeared on the Groundwater Foundation’s website as part of its Fall 2017 “Aquifer” newsletter. Whether it is used as a primary water source or as a buffer for variable surface water supplies, groundwater provides water security to support economic development worldwide. However, groundwater is a difficult resource to… [Read More]

Mapping Ecosystem Markets

By Christopher Hartley, Deputy Director and Senior Environmental Markets Analyst, Office of Environmental Markets, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Washington, D.C. and Genevieve Bennett, Senior Associate, Ecosystem Marketplace Hartley is a featured speaker at the 2017 Water for Food Global Conference. He is involved in the sessions, “Water Frontiers I: Drought, Water Risk and the Context… [Read More]

Groundwater governance – A pathway to sustaining the benefits of groundwater and its contribution to food security

By Mohamed Bazza, Senior Water Resources Officer, Land and Water Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Italy Bazza is a featured speaker at the 2017 Water for Food Global Conference session on “Groundwater Governance from Field to Global Scales,” April 12 from 10:30-noon CT. The session will be streamed live on our… [Read More]

Understanding agricultural water use in North India

About the author: Jimmy O’Keeffe is a PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College, London. His research focuses on modelling and understanding the small- and large-scale impacts of agricultural water use in part of the vast Indo-Gangetic Plain in India. Jimmy is working with Nick Brozovic, director of policy, and recently spent… [Read More]

Water and Natural Resources Tour explores Republican River Basin

July 16, 2015

Photo by Richael Young

This summer’s Water and Natural Resources Tour included nearly 70 participants, from college students to retired farmers, and most with a firm background in water quality and quantity issues – except for me. As a 19-year-old undergrad student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), I set out with a vague awareness of the water issues facing Nebraska and neighboring state irrigators, but nothing to the extent that was presented on tour. Read More

Global perspective on drought and water management

May 4, 2015


Water for Food Director of Policy Nick Brozovic led a presentation on “Coping with Drought – Institutional Innovation in Water Management” at the Swedish Royal Academy of Agriculture and Forestry in Stockholm, Sweden, in March. Read More

The High Plains Aquifer: Not an Underground Lake

January 16, 2015


The United States Geological Survey (USGS) released a report on the status of the High Plains Aquifer, the largest aquifer in North America and the aquifer that underlies eight states and supplies one-third of the groundwater pumped annually within the United States.

The report highlights that there are some locations in which the High Plains Aquifer has been severely depleted, with the water table dropping more than 150 feet in parts of Kansas and Texas. In other locations, the water levels have remained fairly stable, as is the case in Nebraska. Read More

Groundwater in the Mekong Delta

November 26, 2014

Saigon River

The Mekong River is one of the world’s largest rivers. Its headwaters are in China and it runs south through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and finally, Vietnam, where it empties into the sea through the Mekong Delta, a complex network of smaller rivers. Known as the “Nine Dragons Delta” in Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is home to almost 20 million people whose livelihoods depend on fisheries, aquaculture, and agriculture. Despite the abundance of surface water in the area, there is large-scale groundwater pumping for food production, industry, and household needs, and the number of co-existing and connected groundwater management challenges is staggering. Read More

Water for Food Faculty Fellows – Agriculture

May 23, 2014



What happens in Neb., stays in Neb… and other things you didn’t know about the Ogallala Aquifer

April 29, 2014

James Goeke holds sediment material at a High Plains Aquifer drill site in western Neb. Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

For one thing, the aquifer that most think of — one of the world’s largest that underlies parts of eight U.S. states — is technically not the Ogallala Aquifer, but the High Plains Aquifer.

“That’s been a source of confusion,” said hydrogeologist Jim Goeke, professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “We use the names interchangeably, but they’re not the same. We have other productive aquifers in Nebraska in hydraulic connection that encompass the entire High Plains Aquifer.”

But the name aside, what bothers Goeke more is the common misinformation he encounters about aquifers, especially the High Plains. Read More

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