University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE

Executive Summary

U.S. – India Partnership: Improving Water Management, Agricultural Production and Food Security in Drought-Prone Areas

According to UN estimates, one third of the world’s population lives in areas with water shortages and 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. Globally, droughts are the second most geographically extensive hazard, after floods, and cover 7.5 per cent of the global land area, accounting for about 40% of the people impacted by all natural disasters. Over the last 30 years, an obvious drying trend has been observed across the semi-arid regions of the globe, including in the US Western states. India has experienced twenty-one large scale droughts in the previous 100 years, three of them were classified as severe.

The Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at University of Nebraska, USA (WFI) and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, India propose a collaborative program on research and capacity building for enhanced agricultural productivity and food security in both countries through appropriate technology transfer and building drought resilient agricultural systems. The program will focus on developing an agricultural drought monitoring and early warning system for India, with integrated tools for quantifying impacts on agricultural production. In addition, satellite-based evapotranspiration estimates will be used to monitor the onset of drought as well as crop production. Finally, the program involves developing energy efficient and water conserving sensor operated precision-irrigation / fertigation systems to build resilience and improve crop water productivity.

The funding provided through the Indo-US 21st Century Knowledge Initiative strengthen this partnership by helping to establish strong one-on-one relationships at the faculty level in the focus areas through workshops, joint research and graduate student exchanges. WFI and IARI will augment IUI resources and are commit to supporting activities over the long term.