Funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the multi-disciplinary Water for Agriculture project brings together a wide array of social and biophysical researchers and practitioners to promote sustainable water for agriculture by developing a proven, flexible and transferable model of stakeholder engagement.
Our goal is to transform the way scientists, the Cooperative Extension System, technical services providers, agency officials and engagement specialists collaboratively approach critical water-availability and quality issues. The project will develop, implement and evaluate an engagement model that works across variable hydrological and agricultural contexts in three states – Arizona, Nebraska and Pennsylvania. While each state represents differing biophysical and social contexts, they all share long-standing and emerging water concerns related to agriculture. See Project Summary for a one-page overview of the project.
The project is currently developing four study locations in three project states. In each site we seek to build local capacity, provide technical assistance as appropriate, provide biophysical data consistent with study site priorities and help sites develop and implement their own engagement plans and other efforts to address their long-term water related needs. For more information on each state and site see Project Sites.
What Is Our Purpose?
To better understand the processes by which a broad range of stakeholders can come together to improve how water and agricultural issues are addressed.
What Are Our Goals?
- To work in cooperation with, and in service to four communities in Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Arizona
- To help these communities address the water and agricultural issues that matter most to them
- To assess whether and how this approach can help these communities address their critical water and agriculture issues
- To develop and assess an evidence-based approach to stakeholder engagement
- Meet with community leaders, organizations, farmers and other residents to learn more about their perspectives of water and agricultural issues and priorities
- Work in partnerships with local stakeholders to identify the strategies, resources and technical assistance they see as important for effectively addressing their water and agricultural challenges
2019 and Beyond
- Continue to work with project sites to provide locally-led collaborations with the technical assistance, data, capacity building and coordination they need for long-term success