Sixth annual Water For Food conference convenes

Sixth annual Water For Food conference convenes

Raikes
Craig Chandler | University Communications
Jeff Raikes, co-founder, Raikes Foundation and board member of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute, delivers "A Small(holder) Revolution: Harnessing Data for the Poorest Farmers" on Monday.

Mobilizing new data gathering capabilities to improve global water and food security is the subject of the sixth annual Water for Food Global Conference hosted by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska in association with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The conference, taking place in Seattle this year, is available via live stream.

The event is the premier gathering of world experts working to develop new approaches to produce more food with less pressure on water resources. It brings together researchers and policy analysts, farmers, government leaders, and non-governmental organization and business representatives.

Remote sensing, precision agriculture, GPS services, satellite imagery and the supercomputing power to analyze the tsunami of data available are transforming agricultural and water management.

This year’s conference theme, "Harnessing the Data Revolution: Ensuring Water and Food Security from Field to Global Scales," will provide a forum for global experts and policy leaders to discuss ways to effectively manage and use data-gathering technology to conserve water and improve crop yields for farming systems, large and small, around the world.

Presentations and panel discussions will cover a range of topics, including the data needs of smallholder farmers, using climate data to improve decision-making, water’s effect on public health, and the policy and economic implications of water metering.

Speakers will include:

Jeremy Bird, director general of the International Water Management Institute

Kenneth G. Cassman, UNL agronomist and leader of the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas

Robert T. Fraley, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Monsanto Co.

Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute and a leading voice on global water and climate issues

Jeff Raikes, co-founder of the Raikes Foundation and former CEO of the Gates Foundation

Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the CGIAR Consortium

Founded in 2010, the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute is a research, education and policy analysis institute created to address the global challenge of achieving food security with less pressure on water resources through improved management of water in agricultural and food systems. The institute is committed to ensuring a water and food secure world without compromising the use of water for other human and environmental needs.