Water for Food


The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska, established in 2010 through a generous grant from the Robert B. Daugherty Foundation, was created to combine the best of the University’s expertise in water and food to address the challenges of improving the use and management of water in agriculture.

The Challenge

The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska was established to address one of the most urgent challenges of the 21st century with significant political, environmental, social and economic implications: how to achieve greater food security with less pressure on water resources. At present, almost a billion people in the world are food-insecure, without access to enough safe and nutritious food to lead healthy and active lives. Many of them are also water-insecure, without reliable availability of an acceptable quantity and quality of water to meet their needs, while also exposed to the risks of droughts and floods. To ensure sustainable global food and water security in the face of population and income increases, a changing climate and the growing demand for scarce water resources, it is imperative to improve water use and management in agricultural and food systems.

While this enormous challenge manifests itself in different ways and situations, some of the major problems that need to be solved in the quest for greater water and food security cut across a range of contexts. Subject areas that are central to water and food security both in the United States and globally include: closing water and agricultural productivity gaps; groundwater management for agricultural production; enhancing high-productivity irrigated agriculture; freshwater and agricultural ecosystems and public health; and management of agricultural drought.

Our Vision

Our vision is for a food and water secure world: one in which global food security is ensured without compromising the use of water to meet other pressing human and environmental needs.

Our Mission

Our mission is to have a lasting and significant impact on achieving more food security with less pressure on scarce water resources, by conducting scientific and policy research, using the results of research to inform and advise policy makers, and educating the necessary human talent.

Our Values

The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute and Nebraska Water Center believe in the following values, which serve as a compass for our actions.

INTEGRITY to build a trusted reputation for intellectual honesty. We provide unbiased information based on scientific principles.

LEARNING through university-based research and project development. We are willing to take risks and accept failure as part of the learning process and share knowledge with others.

SERVICE to our stakeholders in a manner of respect, empathy, equality and understanding. We uphold the teaching and extension values of the land grant universities.

EXCELLENCE in everything we do. We focus on quality, accuracy and are fully accountable and transparent in presenting the results of our efforts.

TRANSFORMATION of ideas to create innovative, visionary solutions. We believe we can be a catalyst for change in collaboration with our partners.

COLLABORATION among a wide variety of public, private and non-profit organizations and individuals, and strong staff teamwork, to help us achieve the greatest impact.

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