Every day, nearly a billion people in the world are food-insecure, without enough safe and nutritious food to lead healthy and active lives. Many of them are also water-insecure, without reliable access to an adequate amount of clean water to meet their needs. By 2050, our global food demand will double to meet the needs of nearly 10 billion people. To ensure sustainable 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 management in agricultural and food systems.
Nebraska has one of the most progressive and prosperous agricultural industries in the world thanks to plentiful natural resources, the ingenuity and hard work of our farmers and the research leadership of the University of Nebraska. In 2010, the Robert B. Daugherty Foundation selected NU to harness this well-rounded combination for a new institute focused on ensuring water and food security for our growing world. The Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute (DWFI) was founded to leverage the university’s expertise and extend it with strong state, national and international partnerships.
The institute’s impact is achieved through the work of its talented staff of more than 100 faculty and global fellows, postdoctoral researchers, and students in a wide variety of fields pursuing projects focused on increasing water and agricultural productivity. Additionally, the institute includes the valuable assets of the Nebraska Water Center and the Water Sciences Laboratory, and benefits from the expertise of the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As a system-wide institute, DWFI taps the specialized resources available at all four NU campuses, including the College of Public Health within the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. DWFI also collaborates with other universities, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies around the world to address issues on a global scale.
Through research and policy development, education and communication, the institute is enhancing knowledge, fostering future water and food security leaders and developing effective techniques to sustainably manage water and increase food security.