Groundwater Exchange Rules & Regulations Approved

Groundwater Exchange Rules & Regulations Approved





Groundwater Exchange Rules & Regulations Approved

Pre-Approval to Begin Next Week

(GRAND ISLAND, NE)- The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) board of directors broke new ground on Thursday by approving the Rules and Regulations for the Groundwater Exchange Program.  CPNRD will launch the debut of the Groundwater Exchange pilot program this March. 

The Groundwater Exchange Program will allow producers to buy or sell water, on a temporary leasing basis, for the upcoming irrigation season. A seller can be anyone with a certified groundwater use on irrigated acres such as pivot corners, irregularly-shaped fields or even full sections.  A buyer could be anyone looking to improve or add to their currently certified groundwater use or looking to increase streamflow. 

Both buyers and sellers will need to be pre-approved by making an appointment with CPNRD staff.  Interested participants have two weeks (Feb. 29-March 11) to meet with staff to be pre-approved. Appointments are being taken immediately.  During the pre-approval visit, staff will verify the water rights to be sold or bought and provide the buyers and sellers an identification number to be used during the bidding process.  Since this is a pilot program, the number of participants will be limited to the first 50 buyers and sellers who have been pre-approved.

For purposes of the Groundwater Exchange, a ‘water right’ is the certified groundwater use on irrigated acres. CPNRD has approved permanent water transfers of groundwater for over 10 years.  The Groundwater Exchange Program would allow producers to transfer water rights that they do not need in a particular year, rather than permanently transferring them.

Interested participants may find out more information about the program at  The website contains information, documents and links for the Groundwater Exchange Program; which is managed by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA) on behalf of the CPNRD.

Schedule for Groundwater Exchange

Feb. 29 - March 11: Meet with CPNRD staff for pre-approval
March 21- Bid window opens                             
March 25- Bid window closes
March 31- Board to consider program results
April 1- Successful bidders notified
April 15- Payments due from buyers                 
April 28- Payments to sellers

Interested parties should contact CPNRD immediately at (308) 385-6282 to set up an appointment for pre-approval.


-NRCS Report- James Huntwork, USDA-NRCS district liaison, announced that the Local Working Group that provides advice on the priorities for many U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs will meet Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 9:30 AM at the Central Platte NRD located at 215 Kaufman Ave. in Grand Island, NE.  The public is encouraged to attend and express their natural resource concerns.  Ideas generated from the public will help the U.S. Department of Agriculture tailor their natural resource programs to meet the needs identified locally.        Huntwork said that, typically, Nebraska NRCS obligates anywhere between $45 million to over $75 million dollars to farmers and ranchers statewide through NRCS conservation programs.  These programs helped landowners and operators make natural resource improvements to their land, water, or wildlife. 

Huntwork also announced that he will begin duties as Assistant State Conservationist in the Central Area for NRCS in Nebraska effective March 6, 2016.  Huntwork has served as the District Conservationist for CPNRD for 18 years.  He will now be responsible for providing supervision, direction, and leadership for seven additional NRDs.

-Appeal- The board denied a request from a Dawson County landowner to appeal certified irrigated acres regarding the Rules and Regulations for Groundwater Use in Fully and Over-Appropriated Areas.

-Prescribed Burn Contractor- The board selected Chloeta Fire of Edmund, Oklahoma as contractor for the NRDs Grassland Conservation Program in the amount of $37,373.00 for crew and equipment to perform prescribed burns in the District for 19 days.  David Carr, range management specialist, said the goal is to burn up to 5,000 acres this spring to cut cedar trees and implement a landscape-style burn.  Prescribed burns increase grazing values, enhance wildlife habitat, preserve the ecosystem, and reduce wildfire risk.  Landowners interested in prescribed burning should contact David Carr at (308) 385-6282.

-Truck Purchase- The board approved the purchase of a 2016 4-wheel drive, ½ ton full size crew cab pickup in the amount of $16,517.00.  Tom Dinsdale Chevrolet Cadillac GMC of Grand Island, NE was selected with the low bid.

-Crop Reporting Form- Sandy Noecker, data compliance officer, reported on meetings held across the District to update producers about the new online crop reporting form for the Groundwater Quality Management Program.

-Clean Community System- Marcia Lee, information/education specialist, gave an update on the Grand Island Area Clean Community System’s (CCS).  CPNRD provided funding towards the CCS’s paint can crusher in August of 2015.  The CCS accepted 45,898 pounds of household hazardous waste and 16,740 pounds of electronics last year.

-Cost Share- Five cost share applications were approved through the CPNRD and Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation programs.  The practices approved were for underground pipeline, grazing deferment, center pivot, tree planting and well decommissioning in the amount of $31,441.65.

-March Board Meeting- The board moved the March board of directors meeting to Thursday, March 31, 2016.


  Marcia Lee
  Information/Education Specialist

  Central Platte Natural Resources District
  215 Kaufman Ave  Grand Island NE 68803
  Tel: (308) 385-6282

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