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Ogallala Aquifer Virtual Summit to Engage Stakeholders in Tackling Tough Questions
This event will take place February 24-25, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (CST).
Through panels and facilitated workshops, participants will discuss and identify actionable activities and priorities that could benefit producers, communities, and this critical groundwater resource.
Producers and other water management leaders will wade into a series of highly interactive conversations designed to tackle several tough questions faced by communities that rely on the declining Ogallala aquifer resource. For example, what on-farm, district, or state-level decisions and policies could support shifts in water management to ensure future generations will be able to continue to farm and live in the Ogallala region? What can be done so that rural communities remain vital in parts of the region where aquifer depletion means irrigated agriculture will no longer serve as much of an economic backbone in coming years or decades?
This event is being led by the USDA-NIFA Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture Project (OWCAP) team, along with the Kansas Water Office, Texas A&M AgriLife, and the USDA-ARS supported Ogallala Aquifer Program, and support from individuals in all eight Ogallala states.
This event will serve as the capstone outreach event for OWCAP, an interdisciplinary, collaborative research and outreach project underway since 2016 involving researchers from 9 institutions based in 6 of the 8 Ogallala states. Topics covered during the summit will include updates on projects, new programs, activities and policies that were inspired at least in part due to an earlier 8-state Ogallala summit event held in Garden City, Kansas in April of 2018. Together, participants will share their expertise and identify opportunities and gaps requiring attention, resources, and expanded collaboration within and across state lines to benefit agriculture and the region’s communities.
“The summit provides a unique opportunity to strengthen collaborations among a diverse range of water-focused stakeholders,” said summit co-chair Meagan Schipanski, associate professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University. “Exploring where we have a common vision and identifying innovative concepts or practices already being implemented can catalyze additional actions with potential to benefit the aquifer and Ogallala region communities over the short- and long-term.”
Registration for the summit costs $40; the fee for producers and students attending the 2-day event is $20. Participants from each of the eight states overlying the Ogallala aquifer will be represented: South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas. A detailed schedule of this event is available at https://www.ogallalawater.org/. Members of the media are invited to attend. Register for the event Ogallala Water Virtual Summit here