NWC to Host August 3 Mini-Conference

NWC to Host August 3 Mini-Conference

Water canal running beside field

In lieu of a full-day, in-person event, the Nebraska Water Center hosted a 2020 Mini-Conference – from 2-4 p.m. CDT on August 3 – with two virtual sessions on the hydrogeology and sociology of water resources in western Nebraska.

Together with partners at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center, the first session features Nebraska researchers Steve Sibray and Troy Gilmore who presented western Nebraska’s unique hydrogeology. The second session features the Water for Agriculture Project, a USDA-NIFA-funded effort focused on stakeholder engagement for addressing critical issues at the nexus of water and agriculture. Presenters included Nebraska team members Mark Burbach and Jessica Groskopf, and collaborators Wes Eaton, Penn State University, and Jason Farnsworth, Platte River Recovery & Implementation Program.

Please see below for more details, including session abstracts and speaker information. Both sessions will be posted to NWC’s YouTube channel.

Conference Video Recording


Engage in the Science of Community and Stakeholder Engagement Workshop Announced

Engage in the Science of Community and Stakeholder Engagement

An engagement workshop series that will produce 1) a special issue of a journal on workshop themes, 2) a collaboratively defined and co-produced research agenda on the “science of engagement,” and 3)  the formation of a new collaborative research network.

This workshop is supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Advancing scholarship and practice of stakeholder engagement in working landscapes grant no. 2020-01551 project accession no. 1023309 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Penn State Extension Unveils Roadside Guide to Clean Water

Roadside Guide to Clean Water

Introduction Roadside Guide to Clean Water

Your neighbors and your community may already be taking big steps to help reduce water pollution. Farmers, townships and cities, businesses, and homeowners are using practices on their land to help protect our waterways. Many of these practices may look unfamiliar and go unnoticed. Recognizing what to look for is a first step to appreciating the good work being done for water all around you.

In this guide, you will discover some of the most popular practices being used in urban, suburban, and rural areas. By noticing and appreciating the progress being made, we can all be part of protecting our local water.

Using This Guide

This guide includes some of the most popular best management practices for water quality. Pictures of each practice from different perspectives and in different settings will help you narrow it down. But every site is unique and what you find in your community may look different from what you see here.

The Roadside Guide to Clean Water includes information on:


Chesapeake Bay 2019 Report Card Released

The University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science has released its annual Chesapeake Bay Report Card for 2019.  Data and scoring is available by both indicator (dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, turbidity, etc) and region for the entire Bay Watershed.

The report card is available here.


Emerging organic contaminant levels greatly influenced by stream flows, seasons

January 29, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Flow rates and time of year must be taken into account to better understand the potential risks posed by emerging organic contaminants in rivers and streams, according to Penn State researchers who studied contaminant concentrations and flow characteristics at six locations near drinking water intakes in the Susquehanna River basin.

While many studies have looked at the levels of emerging organic contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides in rivers and their effect on aquatic life, this is one of the first projects to closely correlate pollutant levels with flows, noted researcher Heather Preisendanz, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering.


Read full story here.


Whole Farm Revenue Protection Insurance workshop for sugarbeet growers, lenders, insurers on Feb. 13


CONTACT: Jessica Groskopf, Ag Economist, 308-632-1247

Nebraska Extension will sponsor a workshop on Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) insurance policies on Thursday (Feb. 13) at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center. The workshop will focus on how WFRP policies relate to sugarbeet producers.

The workshop will start at 9 a.m. in the Bluestem Room and will also be available as a live internet stream for those interested. Presenter will be Cory Walters, UNL Associate Professor of Ag Economics.

There is no fee, and it is expected to last about an hour. Bankers, sugarbeet producers, and insurance agents are welcome.

“There are been several questions from producers regarding WFRP policies,” said event organizer Jessica Groskopf, Ag Economist based at the Panhandle Center. “This is an opportunity for those with questions to get some clarification on how these policies work from unbiased crop insurance experts.”

Anybody who wants to stream the workshop via the internet should contact Groskopf at 308-632-1247, or email her at jgroskopf2@unl.edu to receive a link. Streaming the event will require a computer with a web browser and an internet connection with enough bandwidth to transmit streaming video.


Webinar Announcement – The Sugar Creek Method of Research and Farmer Team Building to Achieve Improved Water Quality. Feb 19, 2020 1:00 pm ET

Link to Flyer: Webinar Invitation – Moore 2.19.20

Dr. Richard Moore is Professor Emeritus of the School of  Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University.  He is currently a senior fellow with  the National Council for Science and the Environment in DC.

The webinar will describe the Sugar Creek Method used by a team of social and natural scientists at The Ohio State University who teamed up with three teams of local farmers (one non-Amish German descent, one Amish, and one combined) and the local SWCDs, Ohio EPA, and a cheese factory to improve water quality.


REQUIRED AT: https://psu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BPYSB5puSw6BYWCpSs2x3A

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please Join Us!

This webinar is the sixth in the Water for Ag Engagement Webinar series intended to encourage sharing of scholarship and practitioners’ experience with community-based stakeholder engagement in natural resources.
The Water for Agriculture project brings together, researchers, technical experts, Extension professionals and communities to foster community-led solutions to the water and agriculture issues most important to them.

Stakeholder Perspectives on Agriculture and Water in the Verde Valley

Stakeholder Perspectives on Agriculture and Water in the Verde Valley

This report summarizes the key issues for agriculture and water that Verde Valley stakeholders identified in interviews and surveys over the first phase of the Water for Agriculture Project (spring 2018-summer 2019). The interviews revealed that stakeholders widely recognized farming and ranching as important to the history, character, culture, economy, environment, and future of the Verde Valley. They highlighted the challenges and opportunities in agriculture and water from the farm or ranch; to the watershed; all the way to state policy. The results of the stakeholder survey revealed that there are diverse information interests and a wide spectrum of data/knowledge gaps around water and agriculture. No issue or topic emerged with support from a clear majority of participants. Participants expressed the most interest in getting more information about water rights and settlements. They identified the greatest data/knowledge gap as best management practices at the parcel level (for example, for irrigation, pests, weeds, manure, soil, etc.).