Water for Food Conference Features Global Perspectives

More than 40 speakers from around the world will offer diverse perspectives on water and food security at the fourth global Water for Food Conference, May 30-June 1, in Lincoln, Neb. People from more than 20 countries are expected to participate in the conference, hosted by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at The Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln.

Designed to foster international dialogue, the conference draws experts from Nebraska and from around the world to discuss how advances in science, technology and policy will help rainfed and irrigated agriculture sustainably feed an increasingly hungry and thirsty world.

Registration is $250. Schedule, registration and speaker information are available at the 2012 Water for Food Conference website.

This year's theme is "Blue Water, Green Water and the Future of Agriculture." Speakers range from industry executives and scientists to farmers and international water experts, including:

  • Malin Falkenmark, senior scientific adviser, Stockholm International Water Institute, Sweden.
  • Colin Chartres, director general, International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka, which won this year's World Water Prize.
  • Benedito Braga, vice president, World Water Council, Brazil.
  • Ruth Meinzen-Dick, senior research fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute.
  • Roberto Lenton, executive director, University of Nebraska's Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute.

Three panel discussions will provide diverse perspectives on water and food security:

  • The Industry Leaders Panel, moderated by Jeff Raikes, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will feature representatives from Elanco, IBM, John Deere, Monsanto and Pioneer Hi-Bred. The panel is presented by the Global Harvest Initiative.
  • The Women, Water and Food Panel, moderated by Simi Kamal, chair and CEO of the Hisaar Foundation in Pakistan, will explore women's vital role in water, agriculture and food with panelists from Nepal, the Netherlands, South Africa and the U.S.
  • The Agricultural Producers Panel – A View from the Field, moderated by Mark Gustafson, founding director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Engler Agricultural Entrepreneurship Program, will provide perspectives of farmers from Argentina, India and the U.S.

Technical sessions and case studies will focus on: "Groundwater Resource Assessment in Water-Stressed Regions: Past, Present and Future," "Emerging Crop Technologies for Improving Performance in Tough Environments" and "Innovative Water Governance in Nebraska and Brazil."

Selected sessions will be webcast. Webcast information will be available on the conference website when the conference begins. For the latest information on the conference, follow the Daugherty Institute on Twitter (hashtag: #water2012) or Facebook.

The conference is the preeminent event of the Daugherty Institute, a research, policy and education institute committed to efficiently using the world's limited freshwater resources to ensure a reliable food supply.

Contacts:
Melissa Lee
University of Nebraska Central Administration
Communications Manager
(402) 472-7127

Roberto Lenton
Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute
Executive Director
402-472-5145

Dan Moser
IANR News Service
(402) 472-3007

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