2020 Current Issue
Water Resources Management: Local Control and Local Solutions
Nebraska is fortunate to sit atop the Ogallala aquifer, one of the largest unconfined aquifers in the world. This natural resource provides drinking water for most of the state and has enabled Nebraska to lead the country as the #1 irrigated state, helping to sustain agriculture as the states leading industry. Managing and protecting this resource is the responsibility of Nebraska’s unique local Natural Resources Districts (NRDs). While NRDs have maintained groundwater levels near pre-development levels, competing uses and variable supplies have placed additional management requirements on locally elected policy makers.
Students will learn the concepts of how water is managed in Nebraska, and how the local Natural Resources District system works to address integrated water management challenges. Key topics will include:
Understand the ability of Natural Resources Districts to implement local policy and local management to protect water users;
· Understand administrative structures and processes for managing water uses and supplies;
· Understand ground and surface water hydrology and connectivity;
· Understand the economic, social and environmental impacts of projects and policy decisions.