Water for Food


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]

UNL researcher applies expertise in aquifer recharge to arid regions

Since 2013, University of Nebraska-Lincoln hydrogeologist and Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow Vitaly Zlotnik has led efforts at UNL to develop solutions to complex water issues in the Middle East, a region rife with political conflict and environmental challenges. He provided a keynote address at the 2016 International Water Conference at Sultan Qaboos University… [Read More]

Growing the gains and pruning the pains in producing Africa’s food

Why go gaga about GYGA – the Global Yield Gap Atlas? By: Njeri Okono, communications manager for Africa, International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT) This blog originally appeared on the CIMMYT website Dec. 30, 2015. Because GYGA is a crucial pointer to where the greatest gains in food production can be made, and… [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]

Cooperation and Water Security

August 3, 2015

Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow Patrice McMahon with her daughter Julia near Krakow, Poland.

More than ever, the insights of various disciplines with their unique focal points and methodologies, are required to understand and respond to global security threats. This is particularly true when it comes to new or non-traditional security issues, such as environmental pollution, water scarcity and global warming. These issues not only affect water and food supplies, but they also can directly threaten the livelihoods and well-being of individuals and states. Read More

FAO, Water for Food Institute publish global yield gap analysis report

June 23, 2015


To feed a world population that is expected to exceed nine billion by 2050 requires an estimated 60 percent increase over current agricultural productivity. Closing the gap between actual and potential crop yield is critical to achieve this goal.

A new report published jointly by the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization and the Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska reviews current methods to assess the productivity of crops and cropping systems worldwide. Read More

New collaboration to help build resilience in agroecosystems

February 18, 2014


The concept of resilience, first introduced in the 1970s, has become a hot topic, reaching beyond its ecological roots to other fields, including water and food systems. But resilience researchers and food productivity experts don’t necessarily speak the same language and greater collaboration would benefit future water and food security as well as natural ecosystems, said Craig Allen, University of Nebraska-Lincoln wildlife ecologist and DWFI fellow.

Last week, Allen and other members of the Resilience Alliance, an international, multi-disciplinary network of researchers, met with DWFI’s Christopher Neale in Paris to develop a collaborative large-scale research project that brings a resilience focus to food production. The three-day meeting is a direct result of networking that began at the 2013 Water for Food Conference, which focused on building resilient agroecosystems. Read More

Q&A with Ken Cassman: Study upends long-held food security assumptions

January 17, 2014


You hear it all the time in agricultural policy and research discussions: yields for the world’s major cereal crops will continue marching steadily upward. In fact, yields in many parts of the world have already plateaued and the relative rate of increase everywhere else is declining, says Ken Cassman, Robert B. Daugherty Water Food Institute Fellow and University of Nebraska-Lincoln agronomist.

In a study recently published in the journal Nature Communications, Cassman and UNL colleagues Patricio Grassini and Kent Eskridge suggest the challenge to feed the world is even more daunting than previously thought.

We spoke with Cassman about their findings and what it means for the future of global food security. Cassman leads an international research effort to create the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas, an easily accessible web-based platform to estimate exploitable gaps in yield and water productivity of the world’s major food crops. Read More

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