Conferences Showcase NU Water Expertise
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Two major conferences on water will draw researchers, policy makers and water experts from across the state and around the world to Lincoln. On April 29-30, UNL's Water Center will sponsor the 6th annual conference on water law, policy and science. The conference, titled "Blue Gold: When Water Meets Money," includes general sessions on climate change, the value of water, and water for irrigation, as well as a special one-day law track addressing some of the complicated legal issues relating to water.

On May 4, leading water experts from around the world will discuss the global challenge of growing more food with less water at The Future of Water for Food conference in Lincoln, hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the University of Nebraska.

Jeffrey S. Raikes, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will kick off the conference presentations with a keynote address. Speakers and panelists throughout the day will discuss key issues in science, technology, policy and the human dimensions of the use of water for agriculture.

The conference will help lay the groundwork for a global water institute that university officials envision as an international center for research, education and policy on the use of water for agriculture. The university-wide institute will be located at UNL and will involve faculty and students from across the university’s four campuses. NU President James B. Milliken said there is a need for an organization with a global perspective and expertise in many disciplines to conduct basic and applied research and develop policy options that help the world efficiently use limited water resources to ensure a reliable food supply.

"Nebraska is an ideal site for such an institute," Milliken said. "Nebraska's role as a leading agricultural state, its stewardship of vast water resources that sustain this production and the university's long tradition of water research make Nebraska the right place. We should be the leader in the world."

Bringing together experts from across the globe will help identify critical needs and provide international perspective, said UNL chancellor Harvey Perlman.

"We all will learn a great deal at this conference from the national and international experts," said Perlman. "We hope to apply that expertise to the important challenges facing Nebraska and the global community."

The conference runs from 8-5:30 p.m. at Hardin Hall, 33rd and Holdrege streets, on UNL's East Campus. It is open to the public but online advance registration is required. Conference registration, agenda and other information are available online at research.unl.edu/events/waterconference/. Support for the conference has been provided by the Robert B. Daugherty Charitable Foundation and the University of Nebraska Foundation.

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