Nitrate working groups continue work to provide all Nebraskans with safe drinking water

Leaders from around Nebraska continue to meet this winter to find solutions to the state’s nitrate challenge. Three Nebraska Nitrate Strategy working groups are addressing key priorities: awareness, producer education and policy. In January, they put pen to paper and began discussing specific proposals. The goal of these proposals is to provide all Nebraskans with safe drinking water. To do this they are looking for opportunities where sectors throughout the state - including agriculture, conservation, academia and government – can work together.

“The Nitrate Working Group has provided valuable input to better understand the concerns and level of knowledge of various stakeholders. One of the significant benefits has been our understanding of the importance of communicating with non-traditional stakeholders as they have an important role in implementing Best Management Practice to protect our groundwater,” said Marty Stange, environmental director, Hastings Utilities.

These groups are being led by Katie Pekarek, extension educator with UNL's School of Natural Resources and Crystal Powers, research and extension communication specialist for the Nebraska Water Center, Nebraska Extension and DWFI. More than 65 people have participated in the nitrate meetings, representing nearly as many organizations and growers from across the state.

To learn more or get involved, contact Crystal Powers at