What are the major challenges in conserving groundwater in the Ogallala Aquifer region? What strategies are needed to help preserve this natural resource? What can be done to help sustain rural communities that depend upon irrigated agriculture for their local economy?
These and many other questions will be addressed during the Ogallala Aquifer Virtual Summit to be held Feb. 24 & 25 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.
High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) in Lubbock invites all interested persons to participate in this two-day virtual event.
Persons are encouraged to register by Feb. 23. There is a $40 general admission fee and a $20 fee for ag producers and students. Speakers, panelists, and media representatives can register free of charge. Zoom meeting details will be shared with attendees after sign-up.
“The 2021 Ogallala Aquifer Virtual Summit gives producers and water management leaders an opportunity to connect and hear from one another on many important dimensions of the water-dependent future of this region,” said Dr. Brent Auvermann, director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Amarillo. He is a co-chair of the event.
The Ogallala Aquifer underlies portions of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.
While many agricultural producers/organizations will likely participate, organizers see this as an excellent opportunity for bankers, city managers, teachers, utility directors, and other interested persons to learn about the Ogallala Aquifer and discover ways to conserve it for future use.
“Water conservation technologies are helpful--and we need more of them. However, human decision-making is the real key to conserving the Ogallala,” said Auvermann.
That decision-making process can be enhanced by making sound, science-based water data available to the public. HPWD Education and Outreach Coordinator Katherine Drury is one of the panelists for the Feb. 25 session, ““Effective Communications and Training the Next Generation of Water Leaders.”
“Members of this panel will provide a brief overview of the ways that people get their water information. They will then discuss methods to improve learning opportunities for maximum impact,” said Drury.
In addition to panels and facilitated workshops, the meeting will also feature updates on projects, new programs, activities, and policies resulting from the 2018 Ogallala Aquifer Summit in Garden City, KS.
The Virtual Summit is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture Project team, Texas A&M AgriLife, Kansas Water Office, the USDA-ARS Ogallala Aquifer Program, and other agencies in the Ogallala Aquifer region. HPWD is among the supporters of the 2021 Virtual Summit.
The conference agenda and other information is available at ogallalawater.org.