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   from the issue of April 3, 2008

Fifth-annual UNL water conference is April 22-23


"Water Quality Challenges in the Great Plains" is the theme of this year's UNL Water, Law, Policy and Science Conference.

The fifth annual UNL conference is April 22-23 at Lincoln's Embassy Suites.

"Our day-to-day preoccupation with water quantity, which intensified with our recent drought and ongoing interstate water compact negotiations, has often overshadowed water quality issues that all of us in the Great Plains need to be concerned with in order to protect our way of life," said Kyle Hoagland, UNL Water Center director.

"The theme of this year's conference is designed to refocus attention on water quality issues by continuing a tradition of attracting national water and law experts to address state and regional water challenges that impact all of us," he said.

The conference will address integrated approaches to water quality improvement, economics of water quality, agriculture and biofuels issues, ecology and culture of water quality, challenges to water quality from agricultural pesticides and other potential contaminants, and northern plains groundwater quality.

A second-day law track specially designed for attorneys and professionals new to water law and others needing a better understanding of water law issues will address the basics of surface and groundwater, water law, water management, the roles and goals of water engineers, water speculation and other topics.

Lincoln attorney Tom Wilmoth will talk about how federal environmental laws impact water management, and Holdrege attorney Mike Klein will address impacts of water transfers on property titles and taxes.

Key speakers on the conference's first day include G. Tracy Mehan III, former assistant administrator for water for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on integrated watershed approaches for the 21st century; and former Wall Street Journal environment editor Frank Allen on journalism's duty in reporting on water issues.

A broad menu of conference registration options and brief summaries of each talk, and registration information, are available online at

Registration fees increase after the April 7 preregistration deadline. Students can attend the conference free, but need to register for meals.



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Fifth-annual UNL water conference is April 22-23
Opening Day