No testimony offered on NRD rule changes
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Changes in chemigation and metering rules don’t draw the interest of farmers like allocations adjustments.
The board of the Upper Republican Natural Resources District held a hearing Tuesday morning and no one testified either for or against the proposed rule changes.
The hearing was held in conjunction with board’s regular meeting.
The board will vote on the proposed changes next month. The cost for chemigation permits and renewals will be increasing to $40 per year, phased in over a two-year period.
The changes will also allow the use of battery-powered electronic flow meters, along with impeller-equipped meters.
The board heard a number of variance requests, approving three requests while reviewing two more.
$1 million from DNR
Manager Jasper Fanning said the Department of Natural Resources has indicated they have money budgeted for compact compliance purposes.
Fanning said DNR has indicated the URNRD will receive $1 million to help defray past or future costs of compliance activities, including the district’s augmentation efforts.
Fanning said the recent cooperation with Kansas on Republican Basin water issues took another step forward.
He said Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado, along with the Bureau of Reclamation, have come to agreement on augmentation water presently being stored in basin reservoirs.
Fanning said Nebraska already has the 17,600 acre feet of water estimated to stay in compliance in Harlan County Dam.
This water is available for delivery to Kansas as needed.
As a result, DNR lifted administration on surface water for this year.
Under a compact call year, DNR has the right to manage surface water. Under these conditions, surface water irrigation districts are not allowed to store any water that flows into its reservoirs.
With the water already in place in Harlan, the irrigation districts can begin storing water right away and can use the water already stored in reservoirs upstream from Harlan.
Fanning said this will help surface water districts deliver more water to their irrigators this year.