Date of this Version
FOREWORD - Hank M. Bounds, President, University of Nebraska
PREFACE - Peter G. McCornick, Executive Director
Focus Areas: Where we are headed We are committed to helping the world efficiently use its limited freshwater resources to ensure food security for current and future generations. The diversity of projects and activities in this report reflects the complexity of the challenges we face in achieving this goal through technical and policy research, education and communication. Our research and policy development efforts are focused within five areas to maximize the expertise of DWFI staff, our colleagues at the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) and leadership of the University of Nebraska: Closing water and agricultural productivity gaps Improving groundwater management for agricultural production Enhancing high productivity agriculture Supporting freshwater and agricultural ecosystems and public health Managing agricultural drought, focusing on drought monitoring and mitigation across all other research areas Within these important areas, we have outlined a clear set of outcomes to achieve by 2020, which involve creating changes in behavior, knowledge or condition that advance our mission. These intended outcomes have guided our activities and projects over the last year, and have focused primarily on important food-producing regions of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa, India, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the United States. To help close water and agricultural productivity gaps, we are working to develop satellite-based decision support tools based on evapotranspiration estimates in key areas of potential agricultural improvement, such as the MENA region and the Dominican Republic. We are collaborating with farmers, water managers and private sector suppliers to adopt technology and best practices that will improve water productivity in key agricultural areas in Nebraska and participating countries. The institute is a leading voice for improving groundwater management in agricultural production. Within this focus area, we are working to identify and communicate costeffective groundwater management policies, considering factors such as local context, climate conditions and constraints in the U.S. and selected countries. Our team is also promoting effective groundwater governance and policy through education and pilot programs that demonstrate best management practices and highlight innovative technology and exemplary institutions. Additionally, we are developing new methods to monitor improvements in groundwater conditions in selected areas that are degraded in terms of quality, streamflow or depletion.
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