Board Approves Drainage & Conservation Agreements
Central Platte NRD Board to Approves Drainage and Acreage Reserve Agreements
(GRAND ISLAND, NE)- The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of directors approved an agreement to improve drainage both up and downstream of the Platte Valley Industrial Park (PVIP) area in Grand Island at their meeting on Thursday.
The project will consist of grading existing county road ditches from Blaine Street to Schimmer Drive, easements, and installation of a 36″ storm sewer pipe that would drain into the south channel of the Wood River Flood Control Project. Central Platte NRD will manage construction and acquisition of all right-of-way and/or easements within city limits.
The estimated $650,000 project cost will be shared by the partners including Central Platte NRD, Grand Island Economic Development Corporation, Grand Island City Council, and Hall County. Central Platte NRD’s cost is estimated to be $180,000 and will be funded in two fiscal budget years.
OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS
-Acreage Reserve Program The board approved holding a public hearing to consider hosting a 30-Year Acreage Reserve Program to include in Chapter 8 of the CPNRD’s Ground Water Management Plan Rules and Regulations.
The conservation program will provide a long-term solution in protecting surface water rights. Irrigation districts will sign up for the program and surface water users will have the option to opt-in or opt-out of the program annually. The Program was developed to ensure that supplies in the Platte Basin are optimized and managed efficiently with maximum benefits and to meet water management obligations.
A public hearing will be held at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, January 21, 2021, to add the 30-Year Acreage Reserve Program to the Ground Water Management Plan Rules and Regulations.
-Ground Water Management Plan Karen Griffith, Project Manager of Olsson Engineering Service, provided a progress report to the Water Quantity Committee on updates to the NRD’s Ground Water Management Plan. Griffith reported that Olsson has evaluated the current plan triggers, updated data sets and maps, and has run over 200 scenarios with the Cooperative Hydrology Study model (COHYST) the Groundwater Evaluation Toolkit (GET) to predict what may happen with future management options. The committee requested that Olsson run a couple of additional scenarios as they continue updating the plan.
-Department of Natural Resources Jesse Bradley, Assistant Director, and Jennifer Schellpeper, Division Head, Water Planning Division of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources reported to the board on a program being developed to fine-tune the water management framework for surface water and groundwater users. The program would bring together state Integrated Management Plan goals providing long-term certainty for the Platte Basin.
Partners include the five Platte Basin Natural Resources Districts (Central Platte, North Platte, South Platte, Twin Platte, Tri-Basin), Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District, Nebraska Public Power District, and the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program. Financial contributions from the partners would allow for a long-term funding source for groundwater recharge provided by the surface water irrigation districts and other entities. Bradley said the partners will continue to pursue conversations to implement a plan within the next two years.
-Managers Report Lyndon Vogt, General Manager, reported on the following:
– Interbasin Transfer Application The application to divert water from the Platte River to the
Republican River was refiled. In July 2018, CPNRD filed a formal objection to the Nebraska
Department of Natural Resources on the application.
– Nebraska Forest Service Central Platte and other NRDs were recently awarded an RCPP grant for
the Nebraska Forest Restoration Partnership. The grant will allow Central Platte NRD to provide 75%
cost-share for windbreak establishment and renovation, tree and shrub planting,
plantings, weed barrier, and drip irrigation.
-General Election Central Platte NRD has 21 members on the board of directors who serve four-year terms, with two directors in each of the 10 sub-districts and one at-large director. Directors in the same sub-district are elected in alternate election years. Below are results for the 2020 General Election:
Subdistrict 1 – Jay Richeson, Gothenburg
Subdistrict 2 – Dwayne Margritz, Lexington
Subdistrict 3 – Marvion Reichert Jr, Elm Creek
Subdistrict 4 – Eric Davis, Kearney
Subdistrict 4 – Lon Bohn, Gibbon (2-Year Term)
Subdistrict 5 – Jim Bendfeldt, Kearney
Subdistrict 6 – Mick Reynolds, Wood River
Subdistrict 7 – Jerry Wiese, Grand Island
Subdistrict 8 – LeRoy Arends, Grand Island
Subdistrict 9 – Doug Reeves, Central City
Subdistrict 10 – Barry Obermiller, Grand Island
-Natural Resources Conservation Service Joe Krolikowski, District Conservationist, The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff is currently working to prepare all the Conservation Stewardship Program (CStP) renewal applications they have on file to be ranked, and then for possible funding. The deadline to have these applications prepared and ranked is December 4, 2020.
NRCS leadership in Nebraska is working with FSA on revised guidance to our field offices on how to manage the surge in COVID cases. At this time, we are being advised to roll back our operational status
to sort of a Phase I hybrid status. This means we will be encouraging reduced number of staff in our offices, rotating work schedules, and limiting access to visitors and other routine traffic in our offices.
Krolikowski also reported that Craig Derickson, State Conservationist with the Nebraska Natural Resources Conservation Service will be retiring on December 31, 2020.
-Nebraska Natural Resources Commission Mick Reynolds, Middle Platte Basin Representative,
reported that Governor Pete Ricketts appointed Tom Riley as Director of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) on November 1st. Riley previously served as President of the Flatwater Group that specializes in water resources engineering, restoration design, and environmental engineering. Riley replaced Jeff Fassett who retired earlier this year.
Reynolds also reported that four small applications in the amount of $1,086,503.30, and two large applications in the amount of $6,127,885.36, were approved for funding through the Water Sustainability Fund.
-Cost-Share Eight applications through the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and the Central Platte NRD cost-share programs were approved for planned grazing, prescribed burn and well decommissioning in the amount of $10,447.37.
-Canal Video Brody Vorderstrasse, Communications Assistant, presented a recently produced video on the rehabilitation of the Dawson County irrigation canals.
-Upcoming Board Meetings: December 17, January 22, February 25, March 25