Lincoln has a safe, reliable, and adequate water supply for the next 20 to 25 years. Water conservation and stewardship are top priorities for the City of Lincoln. The City wants to lead Lincoln towards a successful, secure and shared future. The City wants to remain resilient to potential drought conditions in the future. It’s been said that “water is life” and in order to move forward with Lincoln’s water security for our future generations, establishing the Water 2.0: Securing Lincoln’s Second Source Project is essential to begin planning now.
A thorough review of the options included in the Alternatives Analysis Study will be performed from July 2022 to December 2022. A final plan will be selected in January 2023.
In Nebraska, we know water underpins our existence as an agricultural icon. Linked to our cultural heritage and rich history of farming, water defines who we are, what we do, and what is most precious to us. From farms to cities across our state, this connection is undeniable. A second source of water supply has been contemplated in Lincoln water system planning efforts dating back to 2005 following the 2002 drought. Since that time, planning the second source of supply was adopted in the 2014 Master Plan(PDF, 9MB) following the 2012 drought. This effort is also mentioned in the 2020 Master Plan. Planning for water supply takes many years, funding and dedication to accomplish this goal. Beginning research and water supply development discussions are important to begin now.
Lincoln Water System Treatment Facility
Lincoln Water System customers use 30% less water today than in the 1980s due to water conservation, plumbing innovations, regulations, and greater awareness. Lincoln Water System has also increased its summer capacity by more than 30% over the last 10 years by adding wells. These efforts make a significant difference to today’s community and will continue to positively impact the city as it plans to secure a second long-term water source for Lincoln’s future generations.
Lincoln Water System Well
Community and Area Benefits
A second water source will maintain Lincoln’s current water supply and secure a second water source for the community’s future generations. It will also:
Apply best practices and modern policy, engineering and legal principles to determine the best solutions for Lincoln.
Engage residents and citizens regularly to inform them of our challenges, opportunities and decisions.
Prioritize water conservation and stewardship.
Apply sound policy, best practices, and modern engineering principles to inform City decisions about the future of water supply.
Inform residents and businesses about Lincoln’s current water system as well as future water supply sourcing and planning.
Support a growing city and afford an opportunity to other communities to connect to a regional water supply.
Create economic development opportunities along I-80.
Grow jobs, attract businesses, increase revenue for Lincoln, surrounding areas, and the State of Nebraska.
Mayor’s Water Source Advisory Council
The Mayor’s Water Source Advisory Council is made up of a variety of public stakeholders, water, agriculture, and science-related experts, and City and State leaders. The 27-member group meets once a month for six months to review the Lincoln Water System (LWS) Alternatives Analysis that will help the City navigate complex design, construction, financial, legal, and governance options. The analysis is scheduled to be completed early January 2023.
Downloads in PDF format.
- Chair – Susan Seacrest founder, and former President of the Nebraska Groundwater Foundation
- Vice Chair – Eliot Bostar State Senator, District 29
- City Lead - Elizabeth Elliott Director, Lincoln Transportation and Utilities
- Andrew Dunkley Director of State Governmental Relations, Nebraska Farm Bureau
- Anna Wishart State Senator, District 27
- Brittney Albin Sustainability Coordinator, Lincoln Public Schools
- Chittaranjan Ray UNL Professor and Director, Nebraska Water Center
- David Cary, Director Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department
- Donna Garden Assistant Director, Lincoln Transportation and Utilities
- Glenn Johnson former Lower Platte South Natural Resources District General Manager
- Holley Salmi Vice President Public Affairs & Policy, State of Nebraska Chamber of Commerce
- Jeanne McClure Executive Director, Nebraska American Council of Engineering Companies
- Jerry Obrist former Lincoln Water System Division Manager
- Katie Wilson Executive Director, Nebraska Associated General Contractors
- Kennon Meyer Attorney, Blankenau Wilmoth Jarecke LLP
- Lori Seibel President & Chief Executive Officer, Community Health Endowment
- Lynn Rex Executive Director, Nebraska League of Municipalities
- Marc LeBaron Chief Executive Officer, Lincoln Industries
- Martha Shulski Nebraska State Climatologist
- Michon Morrow Lincoln Police Department
- Richard Meginnis Lincoln City Council
- Sean Flowerday Lancaster County Commissioner
- TJ McDowell Senior Advisor to Mayor Gaylor Baird, One Lincoln Initiative
- Todd Wiltgen Public Policy Specialist, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
- Tom Beckius Lincoln City Council
- Trish Owen Vice President, Corporate Operations, Lincoln Electric System
- Tut Kailech Neighborworks Lincoln