Water

Water is a finite resource. It is a necessity for the life of all individuals and all living things. We have a responsibility to share this resource today and act as good stewards for future generations.

When water is polluted, it’s our neighbors and communities that suffer. Surface water contamination limits economic activity. Groundwater degradation requires costly treatment systems, infrastructure that is too expensive for many small and mid-sized communities.

We depend on water to sustain our way of life. Crop producers rely on irrigation to remain profitable. Energy producers require surface water to maintain generation facilities. Communities count on rivers, lakes, and streams to attract visitors and support local business.

There are important challenges ahead. Increased levels of point source and nonpoint source pollution put our waterways at risk. Changing weather patterns lead to unpredictable precipitation, forcing many of us to adapt. Hydrologic fracturing, excessive and inefficient irrigation, and increased sedimentation all must be addressed.  

Water connects us all. The hydrologic cycle ensures this. Because we all benefit, we each have a role to play in its protection. 

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Water Notes

 

Clean Water Rule: Protecting Nebraska's Water Resources

In Nebraska, water is life for people, crops, livestock and wildlife, as well as farms, ranches, business and industry. The 2015 Clean Water Rule was instated to protect this vital resource for all Nebraskans while also providing clarity and certainty for farmers and ranchers without expanding historical jurisdiction or permitting requirements.

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Wheels of Fortune

The Center for Rural Affairs’ 1976 report Wheels of Fortune was intended to spur debate about irrigation trends in Nebraska. The report examined the impact of center pivot irrigation development on the ownership and control of farmland and water rights in the state.

Staff Spotlight: Rock focuses on water and clean energy in Iowa

Katie Rock recently joined the Center for Rural Affairs, where her focus will be on water and clean energy issues in Iowa. She is based in our Nevada, Iowa, office.

“I’m excited to join the Center’s staff in Iowa. There is a lot at stake for rural communities when it comes to water and clean energy,” said Rock. “How Iowa handles these issues will leave a lasting legacy for families, communities and the land. I have a real passion for making sure rural areas have a voice on these issues and can benefit from new opportunities.”

Iowa's fight for water quality continues

Iowa’s 2017 legislative session ended without a bill to create a long-term, stable funding source for water quality. Hard feelings amassed all around, between the House and Senate, and between the legislature and the public at large.

EPA seeks to step backward on clean water policy

Since President Trump issued an executive order calling for the repeal and replacement of the 2015 Clean Water, or Water of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule, my husband has discussed the issue with — and heard the concerns of — his fellow farmers.

As any wife would do, I shared with him the facts and premise of the rule: