CARI: Center for Applied Rural Innovation


Date of this Version



Nebraska Rural Poll Research Report 13-3, September 2013.


Copyright 2013 University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Water has always been an important resource to rural areas. Competing demands for water come from communities, households, agriculture, industry and the environment. After last summer’s drought, one of the worst in the state’s history, more attention was placed on water issues in the state. The drought also caused increased awareness of global climate change issues. Given these conditions, what impacts did rural Nebraskans experience as a result of last summer’s drought? What priority do rural Nebraskans place on various uses of water? Have those priorities changed over time? What do rural Nebraskans think about global climate change? What are their opinions about the causes and effects of global climate change? Have these opinions changed over the past five years? This paper provides a detailed analysis of these questions. This report details 2,317 responses to the 2013 Nebraska Rural Poll, the eighteenth annual effort to understand rural Nebraskans’ perceptions. Respondents were asked a series of questions about water and global climate change. Comparisons are made among different respondent subgroups, that is, comparisons by age, occupation, region, etc. Based on these analyses, some key findings emerged.