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Nebraska: The Great American Water Machine. Ground and Surface Water are interconnected. One feeds and grows off the other, without one the other would not exist. This program discusses the impact of the water from Nebraska City to Scottsbluff, from Holdrege to Valentine. The power to grow crops to the power to run your dishwasher comes from water. The program discusses the wide number of groups that use the water that is in Nebraska and the amounts of water that surrounding states receive from this “Great American Water Machine” that we call Nebraska.

This NET World program was put together with Nebraska State Irrigation Association (NSIA) along with the financial backing of the following sponsors:

Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District; Nebraska Public Power District; North Platte Valley Irrigation Districts; Farwell Irrigation District; Frenchman-Cambridge Irrigation District; Sargent Irrigation District; Twin Loups Reclamation & Irrigation District; Tim Anderson Memorial Water Education Fund; and the Water Futures Partnership Nebraska

The North American Great Plains is an arid expanse of grasslands and rivers where the flow of water shows no respect for state boundaries. What do you learn if you try to follow that water?

Photographer and author Michael Forsberg and filmmaker Pete Stegen set out on an adventure to do just that – follow a mythical drop of water 1,300 miles through three different states as they journeyed through the Platte Basin Watershed.

Nebraska Public Media’s documentary Follow the Water is a story about connections between the environment and people, and a river that has shaped the land itself. For almost two months, Forsberg and Stegen pushed themselves to the limit – biking, hiking and canoeing from the headwaters of the North Platte River in Wyoming to the mouth of the Platte where it flows into the Missouri.

Friends joined them, guided them during their 55-day journey and even rescued them when they got into trouble. Sunrises and sunsets colored the skies as the travelers moved from the solitude of alpine wilderness, to the sprawling suburbs of Denver, to the peace of Nebraska’s prairie, past Kingsley Dam and finally on to the Platte River itself.

Through iPhone interviews, photography from the Platte Basin Timelapse Project, journals and drawings – and with a backdrop of spectacular landscapes – Follow the Water tells a beautiful story about water as it flows from the mountains to the plains.

NSIA Program Activities

  • Active participation and financial assistance for irrigation interests in instream flow litigation.
  • Support for projects constructed under federal reclamation laws in their efforts to obtain title and/or renew water service contracts for their project facilities from the federal government.
  • Support for irrigation projects’ water conservation efforts through a conservation programs workshop.
  • Encouragement for changes in state laws for expedited procedures to allow water rights transfers and other water management activities within organization irrigation projects.
  • Providing new property and casualty insurance programs with better coverage and at less cost for irrigation projects.
  • Providing employee benefit plans designed to ensure sound protection and reasonable cost, helping irrigation organization to recruit and retain good employees.
  • Endorse investment opportunities for surplus project funds to allow optimization of investment return for irrigation project operations.
  • Keep state and federal lawmakers informed about irrigation issues and economic benefits realized by the state from preservation and support of irrigation project facilities and district operations.

Click Here to Find Out More About NSIA