Skip to main content

Examining Carbon-Neutral Energy Generation through the Energy-Water-Nexus in Nebraska


Module Overview

Water and energy systems are inherently coupled as part of the Food-Energy-Water-Nexus and demands for both as natural resources are expected to increase in the future. To address these complex challenges, individuals, communities, and organizations will need to contribute to decision-making processes in which decisions about one system have impacts for others. In this module, students explore the interrelationships between water and energy systems in the context of a proposed energy generation plan for the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) in Nebraska. The learning activities guide students to explore water use and energy production through the Hydroviz Energy-Water Portal, as well as the energy generation profile of OPPD, and use this information to calculate OPPD's land and water footprints. They then use this information to engage in a decision-making task based upon OPPD's proposal to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Topics covered

(1) Analysis of water supply and demand for energy generation (2) Analysis of stress on surface and groundwater systems (3) Land and water footprint of energy generation (4) Structured decision-making about water and energy systems



Course Authors

Cory T. Forbes

Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Contact:

Holly White

Graduate Student, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Diane Lally

Graduate Student, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Target Audience

Introductory-level undergraduate students in any undergraduate degree program (i.e., general education)

Tools Needed

Computer with access to Internet