North Platte NRD Pays to Divert Excess Flows

North Platte NRD Pays to Divert Excess Flows


North Platte NRD Pays to Divert Excess Flows


Due to the high water levels in the North Platte River, the North Platte Natural Resources District (NRD) has partnered with surface water interests in the area to divert 985 cubic feet per second, or 1,950 acre feet per day, of excess river flows.  The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NDNR) has asked irrigation districts and canal companies along the North Platte River to divert excess flows into their canals, and the NRD has agreed to pay irrigation districts/canal companies to help offset the cost of the early diversions and to receive credit from the recharge into the aquifer. 

The NRD has been working for the past year to put agreements in place to take advantage of any excess flows in the North Platte River.  Many times, it is not known if there will be excess flows until the river starts to rise, and the NRD wanted to make sure that agreements were in place to act quickly.  Today, the NRD has agreements with nine different irrigation districts and canal companies and expects to sign several more.  The agreement will not interrupt irrigation season.  Once the need for irrigation water occurs, producers will be allowed to irrigate.  In 2011, the NRD worked with NDNR, surface water interests, and the Nebraska Environmental Trust to help alleviate the rising waters.  The water diverted in 2011 resulted in approximately 40,000 acre feet of credit to the system.   

  “These agreement provides many different benefits to the area.  First, it provides immediate relief to a flooding river.  Second, the NRD will realize any credit of water back to the system and will help meet its obligations under its Integrated Management Plan.  The recharged water will be stored in aquifers and will either be used by groundwater users or returned to the river.  Finally, some of the money paid to the surface water interests will be used to offset costs to maintenance or operation of the canal,” Said North Platte NRD General Manager John Berge.  

For more information about the NRD’s water management programs, go to 


Press Release

100547 Airport Rd, PO Box 280   Scottsbluff, NE 69363-0280

PH: 308-632-2749        FAX: 308-632-4346



For More Information please contact David Wolf or Scott Schaneman, 632-2749


Date:  May 24, 2016