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In a state blessed with both significant surface and groundwater supplies and dynamic system of food production, the interrelationship of water resources and food production has always been a central topic of inquiry for the University of Nebraska. For more than a century the university has been a leader in research and education in water, agriculture and natural resources management. This experience has helped make Nebraska a global food producer.
It also has led the university to continually strive to find ways to maintain this high level of agricultural production while preserving water and soil resources for the benefit of future generations. This work has led to technologies, management practices and public policies that are critical to the effort of growing more food with less water. University of Nebraska researchers have provided leadership in the development of no-till agriculture, drought tolerant crop varieties, efficient irrigation systems, policies governing water management and distribution, and other areas.
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Water Center has been central to these efforts for 45 years, focusing on water issues affecting Nebraska and the critical focus on water for food. The Water Center will continue contributing to Nebraska and the university’s broader efforts, providing experience to regions around the world struggling with similar issues. These issues are too important to Nebraska to ignore the insights and experiences of the global water community, and the University of Nebraska will be enriched by faculty interaction with experts around the world.
This university is well-positioned to assume a leadership role in addressing the interaction of food and water for Nebraska, and contributing to the global challenge of assuring an adequate food supply in the face of population growth and other claims on our water resources. We look forward to building partnerships with the many organizations and universities represented here today and learning how we can help catalyze the global exchange of expertise needed to address this challenge.