Water 2.0: Securing Lincoln’s Second Source

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 was performed from July 2022 to December 2022. A final plan was 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 PlanPDF(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 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 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.

Protect farmers

Lincoln Water System Reservoir

Public Open Houses

Tuesday, March 7, 2023
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Lincoln Southwest High School (Commons Area), 7001 South 14th Street
More info Meeting displays (PDF, 5MB)

This event featured several educational stations regarding Lincoln Water System’s history, current water data, and information on the recommendation to develop a Missouri River wellfield and an underground pipeline to Lincoln.

Thursday, December 1, 2022
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
North Star High School, 5801 N 33rd Street
More info Meeting displays (PDF, 8MB)

This event featured several educational stations regarding Lincoln Water System’s history, current water data, planning efforts, and information on current options to secure a second water source.

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 met once a month for seven months to review the Lincoln Water System (LWS) Alternatives Analysis that will help the City navigate complex design, construction, financial, legal, and governance options.

Chartering Agreement (PDF, 276KB)

Mayor’s Water Source Advisory Council(JPG, 306KB) Mayor’s Water Source Advisory Council

Meeting Materials

Downloads in PDF format. 

January 16, 2023
Agenda(PDF, 158KB) (159 K)
Presentation(PDF, 9MB) (9.01 M)
Meeting Summary(PDF, 1MB) (1.04 M)
December 20, 2022
Agenda(PDF, 243KB) (243 K)
Presentation(PDF, 12MB) (12.3 M)
Meeting Summary(PDF, 968KB) (969 K)
November 15, 2022
Agenda(PDF, 227KB) (227 K)
Presentation(PDF, 47MB) (46.7 M)
Meeting Summary(PDF, 1MB) (1.09 M)
October 18, 2022
Agenda(PDF, 242KB) (243 K)
Presentation(PDF, 10MB) (9.68 M)
Meeting Summary(PDF, 516KB) (517 K)
September 20, 2022
Agenda(PDF, 438KB) (438 K)
Presentation(PDF, 85MB) (85 M)
Meeting Summary(PDF, 307KB) (307 K)
August 16, 2022
Agenda(PDF, 246KB) (246 K)
Presentation(PDF, 16MB) (16 M)
Meeting Summary(PDF, 218KB) (218 K)
July 19, 2022
Agenda(PDF, 439KB) (439 K)
Presentation(PDF, 77MB) (77 M)
Meeting Summary(PDF, 221KB) (222 K)


  • 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

Project Contact