Selling off N-CORPE land a bad idea
I get it. North Platte Senator Mike Groene campaigned hard on the issue of the Lincoln County stream augmentation project launched in 2012 by the Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project (N-CORPE).
That’s why he introduced LB 218 in this year’s session of the Legislature. The primary purpose of his bill would be to force the sale of the N-CORPE land.
Four natural resources districts (NRDs) comprise the inter-local agency known as N-CORPE. They include the Upper, Middle and Lower Republican NRDs in the Republican River Basin and the Twin Platte NRD in the Platte River Basin.
Together, they bought 19,000 acres of irrigated land in Lincoln County to develop a large-scale augmentation project. The plan called for retiring crop irrigation on the entire tract.
A number of new high-capacity wells were drilled to pump ground water into a pipeline. This pipeline delivers water into the Medicine Creek watershed, which eventually empties into the Republican River and then into Harlan County Reservoir.
This augmentation helps Nebraska remain in compact compliance with Kansas over water use in the Republican River Basin.
Plans also call for building a pipeline to the Platte River to augment river flows there. This will enable the Twin Platte NRD to meet obligations in the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program and bring water use back to 1997 ground water pumping levels.
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