University of Nebraska-Lincoln research hydrogeologist James Goeke says farmers and others are gaining greater appreciation for the importance of available water supplies thanks to the drought.
Groundwater was the topic of a recent Leadership Hastings discussion panel at Central Community College-Hastings.
Because of abundant rainfall in the 1980's and 1990's, Goeke says Nebraskans became complacent in how they used water.
Farmer Randy Stinnette of Inland says recent dry conditions have forced farmers to be more cautious with water usage.
Goeke says the issue now is to start reforming water policy and usage at a local level. "If this is drought continues, there will be competition for the resource. There's an opportunity to stand up and be heard about local control."