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Challenges and Opportunities of Integrated Management of Surface Water and Groundwater

Presenter: Ann Bleed, CDR Associates
Ann Bleed, Ph.D., P.E. is a Senior Program Manager with CDR Associates, a facilitation and mediation firm in Boulder, CO and is teaching graduate courses at the University of Nebraska in water policy and law and integrated resources management. For over 20 years Ann worked at the State of Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, first as the State Hydrologist, overseeing complex technical aspects of water administration and serving as the State’s examiner in water rights hearings, then as Deputy Director and Director of the Department. She was a representative of the State of Nebraska on the negotiating teams that settled two U.S. Supreme Court interstate water allocation lawsuits, Nebraska v. Wyoming and Kansas v. Nebraska, and helped develop the Platte River Recovery and Implementation Program. She also helped facilitate the Water Policy Task force that wrote a new comprehensive integrated surface water and ground water law for the State of Nebraska. Ann has a Ph.D. in ecology, an M.S. in systems engineering and a P.E. in civil engineering.

Overview: The physical characteristics of surface water systems and groundwater systems are vastly different. As a result, the history of people’s understanding, use, management policies and administration of these systems has also been different. Although many ancient civilizations understood, used, managed and allocated the use of surface water, only in the last hundred years have people made extensive use of groundwater and developed policies and administration to allocate its use. Even more recent is the understanding that surface water and groundwater are hydrologically connected and need to be managed and administered in an integrative fashion. Based on her more than twenty years of experience as State Hydrologist and then Director of the State of Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, Bleed will describe how the physical differences in the two systems have created many challenges, but also provide tremendous opportunities, for the integrated allocation and management of hydrologically connected surface water and groundwater.

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Length: 1 hour

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