Nebraska's NRDs are involved in a wide variety of projects and programs to conserve and protect the state's natural resources. NRDs are charged under state law with 12 areas of responsibility:
- erosion prevention and control
- prevention of damages from flood water and sediment
- flood prevention and control
- soil conservation
- water supply for any beneficial uses
- development, management, utilization, and conservation of groundwater and surface water
- pollution control
- solid waste disposal and drainage
- drainage improvement and channel rectification
- development and management of fish and wildlife habitat
- development and management of recreational and park facilities
- forestry and range management
While all NRDs share these responsibilities, each district sets its own priorities and develops its own programs to best serve local needs.
Districts often team with other agencies to carry out projects. Technical services and administration for many NRD programs are provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. State funding for flood control and soil and water conservation projects is administered through the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources. Local partners often include cities, counties, and extension offices.