One Water Actions

The North Central Region One Water Action Forum featured nine working sessions on a variety of water-related topics from watershed management and soil health to climate change and diversity and inclusion in water management, outreach and education. The working sessions featured panelists who shared new perspectives and knowledge on the issues, and working time for the attendees to discuss what actions would help move the issue forward in a more integrated, sustainable, and inclusive manner.

Listed below are the actions identified through each working sessions. The North Central Region Water Network is currently accepting funding applications addressing opportunities and actions arising from the forum. Lead applicants must have an extension appointment/assignment at a land-grant institution in the North Central Region, but all partners are welcome! Download the full Request for Applications for more information. Applications are due no later than March 1, 2019, 5pm CT.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Water Research, Outreach and Management

  • Understand both agriculture and utility perspectives on urban/rural partnerships for water quality
    • Host conversations discussing how utility funding in rural areas affect diversity, equity and inclusion goals
  • Create workforce development programs in green infrastructure and nature resources to ensure diverse representation. Support diverse spokespeople, so students see the career potential in natural resources
  • Spread these ideas throughout One Water Action Forum organizations

Engaging the Next Generation of Water Stewards

  • Build relationships with state boards of education
    • Host listening and learning meetings with boards presenting the youth water education concepts
  • Deliver programming within schools
  • Inventory existing youth water programs
  • Cultivate more approaches to engage urban youth audiences in the context of water and natural resources

Experiences in Implementing Soil Health practices to Change Water Quality

  • Technically train people to help with soil health implementation
  • Develop training and research demonstration partnerships
  • Incentive-ize working with financial planning
  • Build public/stakeholder awareness for ranking meetings at NRCS/SWCD so soil health practices/issues are a priority
  • Rethink soil health education with a focus on cost and return on investment
  • Host an agriculture lender conservation workshop

My Water: Connecting Farmers, Communities, and the Public to Source Water Protection

  • Create a listserv of working session attendees to share resources and continue the conversation

Nutrient Management and Harmful Algal Blooms

  • Create site-specific graphically designed unbiased publications on HABs
  • Convene partners from multiple states to discuss the issue without blame
  • Compare different state approaches and results in HAB outreach and prevention
  • Educate and communicate the economic cost of HABs ie. livestock deaths, drinking water, recreation, etc.
  • Synthesize existing data in order to better identify target areas and educate the public
  • Host more certified manager livestock trainings
  • Expand Nebraska’s buffer strip program into other states
  • Training urban sectors (including lawn fertilizer companies) in HAB prevention
  • Provide training to agricultural retailers, crop consultants, and farmers in conservation BMPs that can help prevent HABs
  • Educate the general public on what HABs are, impacts, monitoring, and the effect exposure to microcystins can have on human health

Overcoming Challenges through Innovative Ideas: Climate Collaboration

  • Synthesize and effectively deliver existing climate information
    • Host focus groups with NOAA, Climate Hubs, USDA, Trade organizations, local NRCS, FSA, Extension and more
  • Translate regional climate information into a digestible format so it resonates with local communities
    • Assess local climate needs and gaps in climate information
  • Develop applied resiliency metrics
  • Create a menu of climate adaptation strategies with cost-benefit information that local entities can use for decision making
  • Support community preparedness planning with diverse stakeholders

Sustainable Water Supply

  • Educate the public on water supply challenges
  • Bring together diverse stakeholders on sustainable water supply
  • Learn from other states on this issue

Watershed Management

  • Develop customize-able on-boarding materials for watershed coordinators
    • Assess what is already available and update and add as needed
  • Cultivate watershed champions
    • Train farmer, community and agribusiness watershed leaders in public relations, communication and other topics
  • Develop core competencies and support training for watershed coordinator supervisors
  • Support and grow professional development for watershed coordinators
    • Online networking and training? Directory? Mentor-ship program? Formal training program? Regional coordinator meetings?
  • Document and share success stories
  • Ensure watershed coordinator resources are updated and developed over time
  • Develop tools and technology to aid in watershed planning and implementation
    • Spatial tools, survey tools, GIS or tech based tools
  • Develop technology to assess and prioritize watersheds on the state-level
  • Update watershed plans