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.

Iowa Legislature passes weak water quality bill

This week, the Iowa House of Representatives passed a weakened version of the water quality bill that was discussed last session. Senate File 512 (SF512) now heads to the governor’s desk after members of the House receded the amendments they fought to support in 2017. Democrats expressed frustration that the bill would not be improved through a conference committee. Republicans largely supported the bill, but some stood in vocal opposition led by Rep. Chip Baltimore (R-Boone).