Advisory Panel Helps Set Course of State Water Research

WRAP Members: Click on the following link to access Panel documents.
If you need the login, contact Rachael Herpel.

WRAP Members Only

WRAP Meeting: Sept 29, 2010

WRAP Meeting, September 29, 2010

Why organize a WRAP?
Recognizing the critical importance of water to the environmental and economic well-being of our State, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has had an ongoing commitment to excellence in water resources research, education and outreach for decades. In 2006 the state was facing increasing pressure to address serious water issues as a result of interstate compacts and agreements, state statutes, continuing drought and other factors. With these factors converging, the Water Resources Advisory Panel (WRAP), was created in 2006 to better connect the University with the wisdom of outside experts and those who often rely on NU water-related research, education and outreach to make decisions impacting Nebraska's water resources.

What is the WRAP?
Fifteen individuals representing a cross section of the Nebraska water decision-making community serve on the WRAP to provide guidance to the University of Nebraska on state water research needs, education, and outreach programs. The WRAP is convened by Dr. Ronnie Green, the NU Vice President and IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor, and Dr. Prem Paul, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development. The WRAP generally meets three times a year –“ in January, April, and September.

Who are the current WRAP members? (when known, link is provided to individual's organization)

Also working closely with the WRAP are Ron Yoder, Associate Vice Chancellor, IANR; Monica Norby, Assistant Vice Chancellor, UNL Office of Research & Economic Development; and Chittaranjan Ray, Director of the Nebraska Water Center and Derrel Martin, UNL Professor of Biological Systems Engineering and an Extension Specialist in Irrigation and Water Resources Engineering. Rachael Herpel, Research and Outreach Coordinator, serves as the liaison and coordinator for Panel activities and for water faculty activities associated with the WRAP.

What the WRAP and the NU Water Faculty have achieved:

Research Priorities - In 2006 the WRAP initiated a comprehensive survey of the state's water research needs and developed a state water research priorities list. The WRAP updated and re-ranked this list in 2009; these results were then communicated to faculty.

Specific Projects - Three projects were developed in direct response to the WRAP's top priorities:

  • Riparian Vegetation Impacts on Water Quantity, Quality, and Stream Ecology. The first year of this project was funded internally by the NU Rural Initiative and IANR. Subsequent funding has been provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust. Additional information is available on the project website
  • Measurement of evapotranspiration, plant physiology, and other surface energy fluxes in relation to tillage practices. Substantial IANR funding for equipment, on top of NUs in-kind funding, enabled this research to get underway. Subsequent funding has been provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust. More information about this project is available on Dr. Suat Irmak's website.
  • The Center Pivot Water Conservation Project was developed in part to address the education and outreach needs identified during the process. Funding has been provided by the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and Nebraska's Center Pivot Manufacturers - Lindsay Corporation, Reinke Manufacturing, T-L Irrigation Co., and Valley Irrigation. Additional information is available on the project website.

Additional Project Support - The NU Water-Related Research Database was used to identify how faculty's current and completed research applies to each topic (click here to see these reports). Often in high priority areas, faculty members are already working closely with state agencies and other Nebraska partners to secure local, state and federal funds to implement collaborative projects. Where gaps still remain, collaborative efforts are underway to fill those gaps.

Moving Forward -“ Significant progress has been made with cooperation from many people, both within the University and from across the state, to better understand state water issues and to collaborate to address water research needs. A remarkable precedent has been set where projects receiving internal NU funds go on to secure state and other funds on a 6 to 1 ratio. The University and the WRAP have built on this success and will continue to work together to address current and future water issues facing Nebraska.

Contact Information -“ To contact the University about the WRAP, please call or e-mail:

Rachael Herpel, Research and Outreach Coordinator - 402-472-4977 or rherpel@nebraska.edu

Water Current Articles

Article title is linked to a PDF of the article. The date in parentheses is linked to the entire issue (also in PDF) of the Water Current.


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