Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network Offers First Annual Conference

East Campus pillars at enterance

Jan. 30, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. — Maximizing the net benefits of irrigated crop production through appropriately designed agricultural water management programs is of growing importance in Nebraska, other western and Midwestern states, and in many regions of the world because many areas are involved in management and policy changes to conserve precious water resources.

In 2005, the Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network (NAWMN) was formed from an interdisciplinary team of partners including the Natural Resources Districts, USDA-NRCS; farmers, crop consultants; and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and UNL Extension.  The Network has grown from 15 cooperators/partners in 2005 to 1,100 in 2013.

The Network leadership team is organizing the First Annual NAWMN Conference Feb. 7 at the City Auditorium in York, Neb. from 9:25 a.m.-3 p.m. with registration beginning at 9 a.m.  This conference is an opportunity for Network partners to talk about progress, new technologies for water conservation, and future plans. During the day, participants will learn about:

– Update and Status of NAWMN

– Sensor Research Update

– Statewide NRD Update

– Permanent Installation and Underground Wireless Soil Moisture System

Participants are also encouraged to bring examples and share their innovations they have developed for installing, removing and reading equipment. The UNL-IANR Vice Chancellor and NU Vice President Ronnie Green will deliver a keynote address to the Network participants during lunch time. Producers, crop consultants, NRD, DNR, NRCS, irrigation districts and other professionals are invited to attend.

Lunch is being sponsored by the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District and there is no charge to attend. Please RSVP for lunch count to Gary Zoubek at 402-362-5508 or

Since 2005, NAWMN cooperators report a 2-inch reduction of irrigation water withdrawal for corn and soybean consistently due to research-based irrigation management practices and methodologies taught/implemented with the Network. The Network has become the largest and most comprehensive agricultural water management network in the United States. Network participants represent approximately 1.5 million acres of irrigated lands. The total fuel energy saving due to reduction in water withdrawal exceeded $45 million since 2005.

Suat Irmak
Biological Systems Engineering

Sandi Karstens
IANR News Service