As a multi-state project spanning most of the Ogallala aquifer region, OWCAP aims to encourage greater visibility and adoption of practical, best management approaches that can help extend the productive life of the Ogallala aquifer. Throughout all of our project’s research and outreach activities, we are engaging in and fostering partnerships and exchange with individuals, local, regional and state organizations, and Federal initiatives.
Our partners include:
Producers. Producers are our inspiration, the reason why we go to work. Our engagement with producers keeps our research and outreach grounded. A key goal of our outreach effort is to broadly share the examples of leading regional producers to demonstrate what successful adaptive management looks like; peer-to-peer sharing of practical and productive practices and technologies is key to driving conservation and innovation. A mutual interest in water use efficiency informs our ongoing conversation with producers where focus is on “achieving max return on investment” instead of “achieving max yield”.
Groundwater management districts. Producers prefer “going local” in figuring out how to set self-imposed restrictions on water use. Many GMDs across the OAR are responsible for or deeply involved in guiding the development of voluntary and/or mandatory policies aimed at aligning water use with short- and long-term water use and availability goals.
Public and private organizations. Invaluable information supporting OAR stakeholders is made available through state-funded Universities and their Extension offices, state government-supported Western water offices and geological surveys, longstanding annual agricultural/irrigation conferences, by non-profits, and by private crop advisors and technology service providers active across OAR. We aim to amplify and increase the visibility of this information and to support and/or develop outreach activities with these individuals/organizations to increase engagement and learning about water and water use efficiency across the OAR.
Federal and national programs. For the past decade, several OWCAP team members from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas have been working together supported by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s Ogallala Aquifer Program (OAP). Using what has been and is being learned in the Southern High Plains (the front line of adaptive management related to aquifer decline and shifts in decision making regarding water use) OWCAP is now collaborating with OAP to increase the visibility and impact of research findings aquifer-wide. Other initiatives and agencies with which we are exchanging with include: commodity groups, the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative managed by Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA’s Climate Hubs, The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), and the USDA-NIFA funded Great Plains Grazing Coordinated Agriculture Project (CAP).