Farmers, ranchers, urban residents, industries, recreationists, livestock and wildlife all depend on Nebraska's most precious natural resource – water. Water is vital to life. Thanks largely to the High Plains Aquifer, Nebraska has more groundwater than any other state.

Above ground, the state is laced with 24,000 miles of flowing rivers and streams. Nebraska's major river basins include the Missouri, Platte, Niobrara, Loup, Republican, Elkhorn, Nemaha and Blue.

Though it is plentiful and usable, Nebraska's water is neither infinite nor immune from pollution. Irrigators, cities and villages, industries and wildlife all compete for this precious resource. Contamination may come from sediment, farming chemicals, urban runoff and industrial sources.

Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) have local leadership responsibilities for protecting groundwater from overuse and pollution. Each district also has a plan to protect groundwater. State law has given districts a variety of regulatory tools to deal with contamination, shortages or user conflicts.

Water Sustainability Projects  

Six Easy Ways to Prevent Nitrates from Seeping into Nebraska's Groundwater


NRD Groundwater Quantity and Quality Regulations 

NRDs encourage stewardship by providing financial assistance to landowners for irrigation water management and best management practices to protect water. NRDs are not just water protectors, in some cases they are providers. A number of NRDs operate drinking water systems for rural customers and small communities.

2020 NRD Groundwater Management Summary

NRD Water Projects

NCORPE - (Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project)

NCORPE Public Access Program - Hunting Rules and Regulations, More Public Uses Expected In Future!

Water Quality Posters and Informational Maps

How do Nitrates get into your Groundwater?

Six Easy Ways to Prevent Nitrates from Entering Nebraska's Groundwater

(Posters and Maps Below are Courtesy of the Groundwater Foundation)

The Connection of Ground Water and Surface Water

Soil Type and Depth to Water are the Main Factors in Determining the Vulnerability of Groundwater

There is Approximately 1 Registered Well for Every 10 People in Nebraska

Nebraska Leads the Nation in Irrigated Acres

The Only Way to Remove Nitrate from Drinking Water is Through Treatment

100% of Nebraska's Townships Sampled Have Median Nitrate Levels Over the Safe Drinking Water Limit

Nebraska's NRDs Lead the Nation in Groundwater Quality Management by Targeting Areas with Known Non-Point Source Contamination

Two-Thirds of the High Plains Aquifer's Total Water Storage is in Nebraska

Nebraska is First in the Nation to Have a Groundwater Management Plan Accepted by EPA

NRDs are Working on Protecting Groundwater and Surface Water with Long-Term Watershed Plans

Nebraska is a Leader in Integrated Water Management

Nebraska Wellhead Protection Network Contact Information