Nebraska Researchers on Multi-State Team to Study Psychology of Water Use

Center pivot irrigation

Nebraska Researchers on Multi-State Team to Study Psychology of Water Use

Six University of Nebraska researchers will join colleagues at Penn State University, Arizona State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS) to develop a model for engaging communities and stakeholders to ensure adequate supplies of good-quality water both for and from agriculture.

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded $2.2 million for the first year of a planned four-year, $5 million project to 18 researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Penn State University, Arizona State University and USDA/ARS.

 “The project’s main goal is to promote sustainable water management through the use of a proven, flexible, and transferable model of engagement of farmers and other stakeholders,” said Chittaranjan Ray, director of the Nebraska Water Center, within the University of Nebraska’s Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute. Other UNL researchers on the project are Mark Burbach, IANR School of Natural Resources environmental scientist; Lilyan Fulginiti, and Richard Perrin, Department of Agricultural Economics;  Jessica Grosskopf, Nebraska Extension crops-economic risk management educator; and Daran Rudnick, irrigation management specialist, Department of Biological Systems Engineering.

The project will include case studies from Nebraska and other states and develop a model for stakeholder engagement that transforms the way scientists, extension educators, government officials and others combine their knowledge, communication and engagement skills to effectively reach out to water users who have their own knowledge base, perceptions and societal influences on how and why they use water in their agricultural operations.            

“The project will help us better understand how farmers and other water users get information and make decisions about water usage in agriculture” Burbach said.

Read more about this project in the May 17 IANR News Release.