LINCOLN, Neb. — The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska has published the proceedings from its 2017 Water for Food Global Conference, held April 10-12 at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
The report summarizes three days of presentations and discussions surrounding major aspects of the conference theme: “Water for Food Security: From Local Lessons to Global Impacts.” Through this lens, more than 100 speakers and panelists shared case studies and perspectives on pressing global water and food security challenges, including innovations in sustainable irrigation in Africa, governance of major river basins and groundwater, new technologies to improve water use and much more.
This year’s conference focused on the idea that global breakthroughs come from local action. Moreover, the sessions shed light on common challenges to improving water and food security in different contexts and scales, with discussions addressing policy development, socio-economic dynamics, public-private partnerships, financing, technological innovations, sustainability and environmental stewardship.
Specific topics covered in the report include, among others:
- Creating and expanding farmer-led irrigation solutions in sub-Saharan Africa
- Developing market-based approaches to drought management
- Enhancing high productivity irrigated agriculture, highlighting challenges and opportunities from the Great Plains to sub-Saharan Africa
- Improving water management and governance for food security in great river basins of the world
- Transforming water policy to develop sustainable and equitable water management practices in local regions around the world
- Understanding the view from the field — how farmers from different parts of the world are using technology and best practices to increase yields
Key conference partners included the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Defense Fund, U.S. Agency for International Development, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Water Management Institute, International Food Policy Research Institute, the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and others.
An important outcome of the conference was an invitation from the World Bank, USDA and USAID to co-host a follow-up event in Washington, D.C. in January 2018 that will expand discussions on upscaling farmer-led irrigated agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, the conference served as a North American Regional Process event for the 2018 World Water Forum in Brasilia, Brazil, March 19-25. DWFI will organize and oversee the forum’s Water for Food thematic sessions in lieu of hosting its flagship conference next year.
Videos of all the conference sessions are archived on DWFI’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSBeKOIXsg3JLzspAD9I6TxuMHJ9CPD__.