International experts will explore 'Future of Water for Food' May 4

Released on 04/28/2009, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Monday, May. 4, 2009

WHERE: Hardin Hall, 33rd and Holdrege Streets

Lincoln, Neb., April 28th, 2009 —

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 May 4, hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the University of Nebraska.

Jeffrey S. Raikes, CEO of the Gates Foundation, will kick off the conference 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.

Other speakers and their topics, include:

* Simi Kamal, chair and chief executive of the Hisaar Foundation, the "Use of Water for Agriculture in Pakistan: Experiences and Challenges."

* Peter Rogers, Harvard University, professor of environmental engineering, "The Role of Irrigation in Meeting the Global Water Challenge."

* Robert Glennon, University of Arizona, Morris K. Udall professor of law and public policy, "America's Water Crisis and What to Do about It."

* James Goeke, professor in UNL's School of Natural Resources, "Water -- Nebraska's Lifeblood."

The conference is 7:30 a.m. to 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 at Support for the conference has been provided by the Robert B. Daugherty Charitable Foundation and the University of Nebraska Foundation.

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 universitywide 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 of both Nebraska and the world and provide an international perspective in fashioning a response," said UNL chancellor Harvey Perlman. "This is important to our role as a land-grant university and to our stature as an internationally engaged comprehensive research university."

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