About CARC

Next Meeting:


CARC Members, year 2023

Hilary Maricle, Chair
TBD, livestock producer
Carl Sousek, crops producer
R.M. Matt Joeckel, UNL Conservation and Survey Division
Dr. Rick Rasby, UNL Cooperative Extension
Jesse Bradley, Department of Natural Resources
Mark Svoboda, National Drought Mitigation Center
Ervin Portis, Nebraska Emergency Management Agency
State Senator Steve Halloran, Nebraska Legislature (ex officio member)
State Senator Bruce Bostelman, Nebraska Legislature (ex officio member)
Becky Wisell, Department of Health and Human Services

• Water Availability and Outlook Committee (WAOC)
• Risk Assessment Committee
• Emergency Response Committee (ERC)
• CARC Organizational Chart

Nebraska's Climate Assessment Response Committee (CARC) was established by the Nebraska Legislature in 1991 with the approval of LB274. The most recent revisions to the legislation took place in September of 2014 and can be found here.

In June of 2000, CARC adopted the Drought Mitigation and Response Plan. The plan created and defined specific CARC committees designed to assist in the assessment and response duties:

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Water Availability and Outlook Committee (WAOC)

WAOC meets at least three times a year: spring, summer, and fall, but may meet more frequently as needed during drought or other extreme climate conditions.

Purpose: To monitor current and estimate likely future water availability and moisture conditions. Variables to be monitored include precipitation, temperature, soil moisture, streamflow, ground water levels, reservoir levels, snow pack, and vegetation conditions.


  1. To define drought and other climate-related events and, in cooperation with the Impact Assessment Committee, develop appropriate triggers for activating mitigation and response programs/actions.
  2. To identify, in cooperation with the Impact Assessment Committee, drought management areas or vulnerability regions, based on the nature of the drought hazard and potential impacts.
  3. To inventory current observation networks and make recommendations to CARC on the adequacy of these networks for monitoring drought and other extreme climatic events.
  4. To develop a comprehensive monitoring system for timely assessment of drought and other climate-related events.
  5. To determine the primary users of climate-related information and their data/information needs and develop appropriate and timely information products.
  6. To identify existing data and information delivery/dissemination systems and augment, as appropriate, to provide timely and reliable information to users.
  7. To advise CARC on drought/climate conditions in a timely manner.

Committee Members


  • State Climatology Office, UNL
  • National Drought Mitigation Center, UNL
  • Conservation and Survey Division, UNL
  • Cooperative Extension, UNL


  • Department of Natural Resources


  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service
  • Bureau of Reclamation, DOI
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Risk Assessment Committee

The Risk Assessment Committee held its first meeting September 22, 1998, as part of the revision and update to Nebraska's drought plan.

Purpose: To assess the vulnerability to and likely impacts of extreme climatic events, particularly drought, on Nebraska's primary economic, environmental and social sectors.


In advance of drought and other climatic events,

  1. To conduct a risk analysis of the vulnerability associated with extended periods of water shortage/surplus on Nebraska's primary economic, environmental, and social sectors.
  2. To identify mitigation and response actions/programs to reduce the impacts of drought and other climate-related events.
  3. To make recommendations to CARC on the development and implementation of appropriate mitigation programs to reduce the impacts of drought.

During drought and other extreme climatic events,

  1. To review and evaluate the climate/water situation reports produce by the WAOC and estimate the probable impacts associated with periods of water shortage/surplus on the state's primary economic, environmental and social sectors.
  2. To produce impact assessment reports for use by the CARC.
  3. To develop and recommend the implementation of mitigation measures and responses to CARC to reduce the impacts of extreme climate-related events.

Committee Members

RAC has two subcommittees to help address the above objectives:
Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Wildlife Subcommittee
Municipal Water Supply, Health, and Energy Subcommittee

The membership of RAC is comprised of the co-chairs of the above subcommittees, a member of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and a member of the National Drought Mitigation staff.

In the past volunteer subcommittee membership has included, but is not limited to, the following:

Agriculture, Natural Resources and Wildlife Subcommittee

NE Department of Natural Resources
NE Game and Parks Commission
NE Department of Roads
NE Department of Agriculture
Nebraska Agricultural Statistics Service
UNL Cooperative Extension
National Drought Mitigation Center
Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation
Nebraska Cattlemen
InterChurch Ministries of Nebraska
Natural Resources Conservation Service
USDA Farm Service Agency
United States Bureau of Reclamation
Municipal Water Supply, Health, and Energy Subcommittee
NE Health and Human Services - Regulation and Licensure
NE Department of Agriculture
NE Emergency Management Agency
National Drought Mitigation Center
UNL Conservation and Survey Division
UNL Cooperative Extension
UNL Water Center
Omaha Public Power District
Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District
Metropolitan Utilities District
Nebraska Public Power District
Lincoln Water System
KN Energy
League of Nebraska Municipalities
Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation
Nebraska Association of Resources Districts
The Groundwater Foundation
Nebraska Well Drillers Association
Nebraska WIFE
American Red Cross
United States Geological Survey
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Emergency Response Committee (ERC)

The Emergency Response Committee originally was considered a formal arm of CARC, charged with the responsibility for collection and dissemination of information essential for timely recommendations of any and all appropriate action that should be taken by the Governor's office regarding commercial and residential damage sustained because of floods, tornadoes, and other weather-related disasters. The committee's role was revised in June 2000 in response to existing drought conditions and further study of Nebraska state law. By statute, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is charged with responding to emergency situations, such as drought or floods, at the direction of the Governor. To avoid any overlap of duties, the ERC's role was folded into the NEMA organization, with the understanding that communication between CARC and NEMA will be important in times of weather emergency.

As an example of this cooperation, early in 2000 CARC began supplying Governor Mike Johanns with regular weather and agriculture information relative to the dry weather pattern. In June, based in part on the reports from CARC, the Governor declared a state of emergency due to the existing conditions and created a Drought Management Team, headed by NEMA. That group met regularly throughout the summer and fall to advise the Governor. CARC had representation on the Team.

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