Nebraska Vadose Zone Overview
The vadose zone is the interval between the crop root zone and the water table, and is a critically important region for storage, transport and transformation of chemicals that can impact groundwater quality. This video is an overview of the Nebraska Vadose Zone program (https://nebraskavadose.unl.edu/), which standardizes collection, processing, analysis, and sharing of vadose zone monitoring data, with the goal of protecting water quality in the long-term.
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[00:00:00.000](bright piano music)
[00:00:04.353]Fresh, clean groundwater
[00:00:06.520]is one of the most valuable forms of water in the world.
[00:00:09.406]It can be a vital source of drinking water
[00:00:12.060]found deep under the soil
[00:00:13.620]that over 85% of Nebraskans depend on every day.
[00:00:16.828]But being underground doesn't mean it's safe
[00:00:19.760]from what we do above the surface.
[00:00:21.458]Groundwater can be polluted by chemicals
[00:00:23.752]that travel from the surface, through the soil,
[00:00:26.440]and eventually, into the water table.
[00:00:28.243]The vadose zone is the area below the surface
[00:00:31.290]where that travel takes place.
[00:00:32.572]Travel through this zone can take weeks, months or years,
[00:00:36.610]depending on thickness and soil type.
[00:00:38.780]If excess nitrogen fertilizer, manure,
[00:00:41.343]or other chemicals are applied to crops,
[00:00:43.839]nitrate percolates past the roots
[00:00:46.420]and through the vadose zone, contaminating it,
[00:00:48.395]and eventually, local groundwater.
[00:00:50.704]This leaves unintended consequences
[00:00:53.410]for everyone using our water resources.
[00:00:55.658]We all need safe water to drink, shower in,
[00:00:59.330]cook with, clean with, and more.
[00:01:01.269]Since movement through this zone can take a lot of time,
[00:01:04.650]early detection of pollutants in the vadose zone
[00:01:07.229]is key to prevent issues and protect groundwater.
[00:01:10.436]The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's
[00:01:12.740]Water Sciences Laboratory
[00:01:14.730]is leading efforts for methods that can better monitor
[00:01:17.770]and protect the vadose zone and groundwater in Nebraska.
[00:01:20.813]We work with Nebraska agencies, researchers, and towns
[00:01:24.480]to properly collect and share data on nitrate
[00:01:27.210]to help all Nebraskans access safe drinking water,
[00:01:30.320]learn the nitrate level of the vadose zone in your area
[00:01:33.360]by visiting nebraskavadose.unl.edu.
[00:01:36.817]Let's work together to keep nitrate and other contaminants
[00:01:40.210]out of everyone's H2O,
[00:01:42.160]because keeping water safe and clean
[00:01:44.010]is a shared responsibility.
[00:01:49.240]to start learning more today.
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