Nebraska Water Science Center

Water Availability and Water Use

How much water is available and how water resources are used are critical questions for managers of Nebraska's water resources. USGS scientists use models to simulate how water use may affect water resources, study the interaction between groundwater and surface water, and monitor water levels throughout the state.

Filter Total Items: 7
Date published: February 27, 2017

Groundwater/surface-water interaction near the confluence of the Elkhorn and Lower Platte Rivers

Recent droughts in Nebraska (2000–06; 2012–13) have amplified concerns about the long-term sustainability of groundwater and surface-water resources as well as concerns about the effect of groundwater irrigation on streamflow and water supplies needed to meet wildlife, recreational, and municipal needs.  The Lower Platte River Basin-wide Management Plan is currently being developed jointly by...

Date published: February 21, 2017
Status: Active

High Plains Groundwater Availability Study

Water availability is a function of many factors, including the quantity and quality of water and the laws, regulations, economics, and environmental factors that control its use. The focus of the High Plains Groundwater Availability Study is on improving fundamental knowledge of the water balance of the basin, including the flows, storage, and water use by humans and the environment. An...

Date published: February 21, 2017
Status: Active

High Plains Water-Level Monitoring Study

The High Plains aquifer underlies 111.8 million acres (about 175,000 square miles) in parts of eight States—Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. In response to a directive from Congress, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with local, state, and federal entities, has collected water-level data from wells screened in the High Plains...

Date published: February 16, 2017

Delineation of Areas Potentially Drained by Tile Drains and Updating of Streamflow-Trend Statistics from the Elkhorn River Basin in Eastern Nebraska

Water resource sustainability in the Elkhorn River Basin, Nebraska is a critical issue. Understanding streamflow trends is important to the determination of sustainable surface water and groundwater in the basin. The Lower Elkhorn and Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources Districts and the USGS cooperatively studied trends in streamflow characteristics of sites in the Elkhorn River, Salt Creek, and...

Contacts: Kellan Strauch
Date published: January 5, 2017

Groundwater Quality and Age of Secondary Bedrock Aquifers, Eastern Nebraska

In eastern Nebraska, secondary aquifer systems are increasingly being considered to supplement growing municipal, domestic, and agricultural water demands. Within the Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA) area, airborne geophysical surveys have mapped the thickness and extent of these aquifers over much of eastern Nebraska; however little is known about the age and quality of...

Contacts: Amanda Flynn
Date published: January 5, 2017

Sand Hills and Dissected Plains Water Budgets

A detailed annual water budget is invaluable for effective interrelated water management, particularly in river valleys where streamflow and crop demands are key components of the budget. Extraction of groundwater or diversion of surface water can affect flow to streams, wetlands, and other surface-water bodies. We are providing new insights into the water budget by estimating quantities of...

Contacts: Amanda Flynn
Date published: December 8, 2016

Water Movement Through the Unsaturated Zone of the High Plains Aquifer in the Central Platte Natural Resources District, Nebraska

Eight unsaturated-zone research sites were installed in the Central Platte Natural Resources District as part of the High Plains Unsaturated-Zone Research Network. These 8 sites were installed to determine recharge and chemical transport rates in the unsaturated zone beneath important land-use settings and climate gradients across the Central Platte Natural Resources District.

Contacts: Christopher Hobza, Jason Gurdak