NRD hearing date set for Nov. 17
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
The public will get the opportunity to comment on a new integrated management plan (IMP) being proposed by the Upper Republican Natural Resources District (URNRD).
The URNRD board will hold a public hearing on the plan during a special hearing Tuesday, Nov. 17, beginning at 7:30 p.m. During the hearing, the board will take testimony on the new IMP. Written testimony will also be accepted.
The URNRD has been working in conjunction with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop the new plan.
The new plan addresses the use of augmentation to keep the Republican Basin NRDs and the state in compact compliance with Kansas.
Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling favorable to Nebraska on compact compliance issues, Kansas and Nebraska have forged several agreements that address credits for augmentation pumping.
DNR believes the latitude granted Nebraska in these agreements should keep Nebraska in compliance.
Drastic pumping reductions still remain in the IMP and could be implemented should future drought conditions endanger compliance.
The plan also still requires the URNRD to reduce ground water consumption by 20 percent for the 1998-2002 baseline pumping volumes.
The rapid response area, which includes wells near streams and rivers, is being redefined in the IMP as the 10 percent/five-year region. This includes land where ground water pumping causes a 10 percent depletion in stream flow over a five-year period.
The draft proposal can be found on the URNRD’s web site, urnrd.org, by clicking the “Resources” link on the home page.