Water in Nebraska: Use, Politics, Policies

Water in Nebraska: Use, Politics, Policies

Water in Nebraska: Use, Politics, Policies

Water in Nebraska: Use, Politics, Policies

Excerpt

One of the more important decisions we as a society must make in the coming decade is how to allocate our natural resources. In Nebraska, as in many parts of the American West, half a century of water development for flood control, irrigation, power production, and municipal uses has resulted in reduced streamflow, falling ground water tables, and contamination of fresh water supplies. As the water supplies constrict, competition becomes more intense. How the state and the region solve water use conflicts will have reverberating effects for several generations. How we manage our water today sets the parameters for the quality of life we and our children live tomorrow.

While covering natural resources issues for the Lincoln Journal from 1978 to 1982, I saw that resource allocation is a complicated, dynamic process involving politics, history, and science. What I have sought to do with this book is to provide an overview of this allocation process as I saw it occur in Nebraska.If it is a help to the general public in gaining a better understanding of how the state's natural resources, particularly water, are divided, managed, and used, then my goal has been reached.

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