State officials, NRDs hosting meetings on Compact Compliance Plans
The Republican River Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be hosting a series of meetings regarding future Compact compliance in the Republican Basin.
These meetings will take place at various locations throughout the basin from Nov. 16-18, and one meeting site is in Imperial.
The meeting schedule is:
Monday, Nov. 16—2 p.m. Red Cloud Community Center; 6 p.m. Ella Missing Center, Arapahoe. All times CT.
Tuesday, Nov. 17—1 p.m. City Auditorium, McCook; 3 p.m. City Auditorium, McCook; 7 p.m. Community Center, Curtis. All times CT.
Wednesday, Nov. 18—1 p.m. (MT) Dundy County Fairgrounds, Benkelman; 3 p.m. (MT) Dundy County Fairgrounds, Benkelman; 6 p.m. (MT) Upper Republican NRD, Imperial.
The three dry-year water regulation options to be presented by DNR are in response to an arbitrator’s ruling in the Kansas-Nebraska Republican River Compact Dispute earlier this year.
In his report, arbitrator Karl Dreher noted that, while Nebraska’s integrated management plans were sufficient in normal years, greater actions were needed to maintain compliance during water-short years.
The NRDs are working with the state in this planning process, and maintain that regulation is only one piece of a long-term plan. This plan also implements a mix of irrigation retirement programs and augmentation in the form of surface water leases or groundwater augmentation of stream flow.
Each of these options is being pursued by the Republican River NRDs. The best mix of these practices may be different in any given water-short year, but the state and the NRDs must have a comprehensive plan that can be enacted when necessary.
DNR’s compliance options were first introduced to the public at a meeting held in Holdrege on Sept. 20.
The options have also been presented during open session at the three NRD board meetings, and will be discussed again at the DNR Forecast meeting, to be held in Curtis on Nov. 30.