Over the past year, the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska has made great progress in finding ways to grow more food with less pressure on water resources. Its work has been focused in the areas of research innovation, entrepreneurship, student involvement, faculty development and knowledge-sharing. The institute took advantage of more opportunities for in-person connection this year and offers a glimpse of its significant movement forward in its annual report for fiscal year 2021-2022.
A few of the highlights include:
- The publication of a new report analyzing various business ecosystems for smallholder irrigation in Rwanda – what works, what doesn’t and what more is needed to support young entrepreneurs and farmers.
- Continual development and increasing application of our suite of tools to improve irrigation water use and agricultural productivity and help water managers and producers make informed decisions.
- Communication of Nebraska’s diverse and localized policies for groundwater markets and transfers, so that Nebraskans — as well as others throughout the country and the world — can see how these programs could benefit their own areas.
- Research for solutions and fostered communication regarding the AltEn environmental crisis in Mead, Nebraska. While long-term solutions are still in development, the lessons learned have helped the Mead community heal and will benefit other communities dealing with similar challenges.
- Collaboration in the development of new methods for controlling nitrate leaching in agriculture. From innovative nitrate measurement tools to exploring the benefits of cover crops, we’re working to protect our groundwater and soil quality.
Located in Nebraska, DWFI leverages the world-class research capabilities at the University of Nebraska, the state’s water resources, and the state’s rich agricultural involvement to function as a living lab and global think tank. The report demonstrates the work that this unique combination of resources can achieve in the state of Nebraska, as well as several global achievements and partnerships.
“Water and food insecurity have been front page news many times this year with the consequences of the war in Ukraine, severe drought in the horn of Africa, the western US and Nebraska, and devastating floods across much of the productive farmland of the Indus basin in Pakistan,” said Peter McCornick, Executive Director of DWFI. “This has only underscored the importance of DWFI’s work, and our team has continued to engage purposefully. We have expanded our research and outreach activities, leveraged collaborations and partnerships to address complex issues, and seen marked progress toward impact.”