That trickle of water- it's important.
Famously known as a mile wide and an inch deep the braided channels of the Platte play a bigger role than providing scenery while driving on I-80. The Platte supplies freshwater to an arid and vast region of the Great Plains, an area that supports millions of people, wildlife, and agricultural.
Yes, but not useable water. Over 97% of the earth's water is salt water in the ocean. Fresh water makes up a remaining 3%, of which over 60% of that is locked into glaciers or difficult/expensive to reach underground. Less than 0.3% of all water on earth is surface water accessible for direct human use. This accessible water is found in lakewetlands, and rivers such as the Platte.
A resource essential to the survival of life, freshwater is limited.
Our use of water is just one, although large, piece of an interconnnected web of people, organizations, wildlife, and businesses, that rely on the Platte River. How we use water, effects the entirety of the river system, putting added pressure up stream and limiting use downstream.
Not only is our body made up of over 90% water, but many of Nebraska's larger towns were founded along the Platte River.
Nebraska is one of the most agriculturally productive states, and over 565,000 acres are irrigated with surface water.
Over 500,000 sandhill cranes, millions of waterfowl, and four endangered species use the river.
The recreational benefits provided by the Platte are numerous.
Nebraska's towns and cities rely on municipalities.
From bats, to deer, turtles and frogs to raccoons a lot of animals call the Platte their home.
Our goal for this project is to engage, educate, and provide a platform for people to explore the dynamics of a freshwater resource. We have synthesized collected data to visualize the patterns, changes, and phenology occuring in the Platte River Basin.
There is a visible pattern of changes on the Platte River, variables such as water levels and crane roosts, that are documented by time-lapse photography.
Important variables change within the water, such as temperature and dissolved oxygen, and on the water's edge, such as bat and frog activity, that can't alwayas be seen.
I love the taste of water. Especially frozen into cubes and completely surrounded by whiskey.