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Water for Food Conference draws global interest

jbrehm2, April 25, 2011 | View original publication

Water for Food Conference draws global interest

Nebraska will play host to the world during the 2011 global Water for Food Conference May 1-4 in Lincoln, Neb. More than 400 people from 25 nations are expected to participate in the conference, which will explore how to solve the challenge of growing more food with limited water to feed the world’s growing population.

Sessions are built around the theme “Paths to Solutions” with about 60 speakers and panelists from agriculture, industry, universities, governments and nongovernmental organizations. This is the third year for the conference, which is designed to foster international dialogue on key issues related to the use of water for agriculture. It provides opportunities to learn from speakers with extensive experience and perspectives from diverse cultures.

The conference is hosted by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at the Cornhusker Marriott.

Conference details, speaker information and online registration are available at the conference website. Registration is $250 and space is limited. Those who can’t attend can follow the conference on the website. During the conference, the site will feature links to live webcasts of selected sessions, news stories and a conference blog. Or follow the conference on Twitter and Facebook.

The conference will feature:
• Plenary presentations, panel discussions, case studies and specialized technical sessions.
• Internationally recognized experts discussing a range of issues related to water, agriculture and food security, including: Anil Jain, managing director, Jain Irrigation Ltd. of India; Anders Berntell, executive director, Stockholm International Water Institute; Pasquale Steduto, principal officer, United Nations/FAO Water; András Szöllösi-Nagy, rector, UNESCO-IHE; and Julia Bucknall, sector manager, Water Department, World Bank.
• A Keynote Dialogue on water and food issues led by Jeff Raikes, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with representatives from development organizations in Ethiopia and India who work with the foundation.
• An Industry Leaders Panel offering their perspectives on water for food challenges.
• An Agricultural Producers Panel featuring producers with diverse background from Australia, California, Kenya and Nebraska discussing their challenges with water issues.
• The conference includes two case study sessions: "Securing Water for Agriculture: California’s High-Stakes Challenge" and "Pathways to Greater Food Production: Lessons from Ethiopia." Technical session topics are: “Quantitative Food Security: Yield Gaps, Water and Nitrogen Productivity”; “Maximizing Water Use Efficiency in Agriculture” and “Evaluation of Aquifer Resources in Sub-Saharan Africa.”