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Each panelist has many years of experience in dealing with water issues and each brings a perspective from a different area of expertise. These include natural resources management at the state government level, research and administration for a federal agency, farming and ranching, public water policy advocacy, staffer for a Nebraska U.S. senator, and irrigation research and development in the private sector.
Effects of climate change: Managing water resources to provide the quantity and quality to meet the needs of agriculture, industry, recreation and urban use is one of the key challenges throughout the western U.S. and certainly in the Platte River Basin and the High Plains. Due to semi-arid conditions, the western U.S. also is one of the areas most likely to be affected by climate change and where effects already are being seen. The panelists identified changes in the timing of weather and climate events and factors affecting water supply and demand as major potential effects of climate change.