Catch Up On The Latest In Water Science, Policy And Law

Two back-to-back Nebraska conferences will explore water issues and climate change.

Published on: Oct 8, 2013

The University of Nebraska's water science and policy symposium and water law conference will be Oct. 15-16 at Lincoln's Cornhusker Hotel.

The symposium Oct. 15 will focus on "Changes: Climate, Water and Life on the Great

Plains," while the following day's Water Law Conference aims primarily at the latest in Nebraska water law for practicing attorneys and water professionals.

The events are cosponsored by NU's Nebraska Water Center, part of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute; NU's College of Law, the Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section of the Nebraska State Bar Association, and the U.S. Geological Survey's Nebraska Water Science Center.

Catch Up On The Latest In Water Science, Policy And Law
Catch Up On The Latest In Water Science, Policy And Law

Morning sessions on Oct. 15 will look at the bigger picture of water issues that are of current interest to Nebraska and the Great Plains," says Lorrie Benson, event organizer and Nebraska Water Center assistant director.

"We will be looking at water and planning, with climate change and variability as key drivers in planning, along with factors such as population growth, agriculture, industry and ecosystem needs," she says.

Water planning is a topic of increasing interest as competing uses often vie with one another for a share of a limited and often overused resource, according to Benson.

In the opening session Oct. 15, there will be a brief history of Nebraska water planning by Mike Jess, retired UNL lecturer and consulting water resources engineer, followed by a presentation on the larger view on water planning by David Yates, National Center for Atmospheric Research and Stockholm Environment Institute. Yates' expertise is water planning, including impacts from climate change.

Mike Hayes, director of UNL's National Drought Mitigation Center, will talk about incorporating drought planning into the water planning process; and Alan Tomkins, director of the NU Public Policy Center, will discuss new research on public trust in and confidence in Nebraska's natural resources districts and Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.

Karl Brooks, director of the Region VII office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Kansas City, Mo., addressing water quality as part of comprehensive water planning.

More information can be found at http://watercenter.unl.edu for the Oct 15 event.

The Oct. 16 Water Law Conference opens with NU College of Law professor Anthony Schutz's "Water Law 101," a primer of important statutes and cases and their context to help listeners understand how and why they developed.

Another speaker Oct. 16 is John Dernbach of Widener University School of Law, Chester, Penn., on "Creating a Legal Framework for Sustainability.

"Certified Acres: What, Why, Who, Transfers and Records" will be delivered by Jon Schroeder of Schroeder and Schroeder PC, Curtis, Neb.

Lash Chaffin of the Nebraska League of Municipalities will speak on municipal legal options during times of drought and Don Blankenau of Blankenau Wilmoth Jarecke LLP, Lincoln, will give an update on legal issues in the contentious Republican River basin.

The Oct. 16 conference, while focusing on information of interest to practicing attorneys, is open to all.

More information about both events, including detailed agendas and online registration, is at watercenter.unl.edu. Questions should be directed to the NWC at 402-472-3305.