Lower Platte South NRD Board Supports Platte Basin Updates

Lower Platte South NRD Board Supports Platte Basin Updates


LINCOLN, Nebraska – The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (LPSNRD) Board of Directors endorsed a new phase of a water management plan for much of eastern Nebraska, that impacts Platte River flows, when it met May 18th. The Lower Platte River Basin Coalition (Coalition), voted in April to set new limits on future new water use in the Platte River basin, as part of its overall plan for; maintaining a water supply and use inventory; maintaining a balance between current and future water supply and demand; and protecting existing surface and groundwater uses, while allowing for future development. The Coalition consists of seven NRDs located in the Elkhorn, Loup and the Lower Platte river basins (including the Lower Platte South NRD) and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources. 

New updates included in the five-year second increment of the Coalition’s Basin Water Management Plan are:

  • Update the analysis of water supplies in the basin
  • Determine allowable new depletions for each Coalition NRD for the second five-year increment of the Water Management Plan, including carryover from the first five-year increment
  • Review the plan’s goals, objectives and action items and update as necessary
  • Consider the appropriateness of the five-year duration of the second increment

The LPSNRD Board also confirmed a Coalition action in April to approve a new Interlocal Cooperation Agreement.

The Board took another step to improve our understanding of local groundwater supplies. The Board approved a contract with LRE Water, of Denver, with offices in Lincoln, when it met May 18th. LRE Water will merge airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data, accumulated from scans using low flying helicopters over several years, with other existing geological information to create a three dimensional visual of groundwater in the district. Water Resources Coordinator Dick Ehrman said the project, funded by a $247,500 grant from the Nebraska Water Sustainability Fund and LPSNRD matching funds, will not only aid in understanding the geological and groundwater resources of the district, but it will also prepare the AEM data for use in future groundwater modeling. 

The Board was updated on the status of the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget process. Treasurer Bob Andersen, of Lincoln, said all LPSNRD subcommittees have met and submitted recommendations to the Finance and Planning Subcommittee. The first draft of the budget will be posted at on or about June 1st and outlined for the Board at its June 15th monthly meeting. Public comments on the budget draft will be invited at the meeting. The meeting will begin one hour earlier than normal, at 6:00 PM at the NRD office, 3125 Portia Street, Lincoln. Andersen stressed the importance of early public input on the budget, to give the Board time to implement public suggestions into future budget drafts.

In other business the Board:

  • Approved Fiscal Year 2023 salary modifications
  • Approved an Annual Operations Agreement with USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Approved establishing a weather monitoring station at Red Cedar Wildlife Management Area, north of Valparaiso, to help improve irrigation management in the Dwight-Valparaiso-Brainard Special Groundwater Management Area ($5,000, plus $2,600 annual operating cost)
  • Approved a five-year contract for water sample analysis with Midwest Laboratories
  • Approved an Interlocal Agreement and an amendment with the Upper Big Blue NRD, based in York, to cooperate with landowners on cost-share programs along the boundary between the two NRDs that may impact Branched Oak Lake.

The next meeting of the LPSNRD Board of Directors will be Wednesday, June 15, 2021, starting one hour earlier than normal, at 6 PM at the NRD office, 3125 Portia Street, Lincoln.  The agenda will include a summary of the first draft of the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget. The public is invited to attend and make comments. Visit or Facebook for related announcements.