Ron Bishop has been a prominent figure in Nebraska's water world and, because of his lifetime dedication to protecting and conserving groundwater, he has been selected to receive The Groundwater Foundation's 2013 Maurice Kremer Groundwater Achievement Award. Bishop will receive his award on Nov. 25, 2013 at the Nebraska Water Resources Association and Nebraska State Irrigation Association joint convention in Kearney.
The Kremer Award was established in 1985 to recognize Nebraskans who have made a substantive contribution to the conservation and protection of Nebraska's groundwater.
"He was an excellent sounding board during those times when I was developing groundwater management and protection guides for the NRDs", says Kremer selection committee member Bob Kuzelka. "He brought his NRD board into a progressive approach to groundwater management at a very early stage."
Bishop was the general manager of the Central Platte Natural Resources District since the formation of NRDs in 1972, and has played a critical role in helping to develop the NRD structure and promoting the importance of natural resources conservation. He has written and testified on water and conservation Legislative bills in Nebraska and in Washington D.C.
Nationally, he was one of the founding members of the Ground Water Management Districts Association in the 1980s, serving as president from 1989-2002. He also served on the National Water Resources Association board representing groundwater since 1990.
In Nebraska, Bishop worked with the NRD Board of Directors in local, state and national conservation projects. He has served on the Nebraska Water Resources Association for over 30 years and received the George W Norris Award for distinguished public service in 1985.
During Ron's tenure as general manager, the Central Platte NRD has implemented Nebraska's first Water Banking Program which provides water for new and future uses and maintains economic sustainability in rural economies. It was the first NRD to begin a Prescribed Fire Program for area landowners to manage rangelands, restore grasslands and control invasive species.
It also was the first NRD to help irrigation districts convert surface water irrigation to groundwater irrigation, increasing efficiency by irrigating the same number of acres and return excess water to the Platte River.