Upper Niobrara White NRD Budget Will Address Multiple Projects

Upper Niobrara White NRD Budget Will Address Multiple Projects


Upper Niobrara White NRD Budget Will Address Multiple Projects

On September 11, the Upper Niobrara White Natural Resources District board of directors approved the 2014-15 budget.   Revenues and expenditures in the budget total approximately $1.3 million dollars and require $627,000 in property taxes. This is a five percent increase over last year’s budget; however the levy decreased as a result of property valuation increases. The NRD board continues to maintain a low levy while meeting the needs of the district.

The budget sets aside funds for water well decommissioning, to protect ground water from contamination, and wellhead protection planning assistance for cities and villages with concerns over the municipal water supplies.   As part of well planning activities, NRD staff will collect approximately 950 groundwater quality samples and 180 water level measurements.   That effort will assist the board in the decision making process to ensure there is adequate supply of high quality water within the district.   In order to gain a better understanding of the aquifer formations, the NRD and the Department of Environmental Quality recently installed additional monitoring wells in Box Butte and Sioux counties.

In the next year, the NRD will conduct computer modeling for a better understanding of surface and ground water supply, demand, and how management actions may be incorporated to ensure a viable aquifer for both the short term and long term.   The NRD will also be seeking grants to expand this effort.   The NRD has allocated funds to assist producers with on-farm water management and preservation through cost sharing on pivot efficiency conversions, soil moisture monitoring equipment, and technical assistance for installation and operation of the equipment.

The Upper Niobrara White NRD, along with the South and North Platte NRDs, will continue to work at preserving and enhancing soil health though the promotion of no-till farming practices.   As members of the Panhandle No-Till Partnership, the NRDs and the Natural Resources Conservation Service understand the importance of healthy soils in crop production.    On-going efforts to educate producers include field day demonstrations and an annual conference in mid-February.

The winter of 2013-2014 certainly accentuated the value of trees and shrubs in protecting roads, livestock, wildlife and residences from windblown snow.    Trees are also effective at reducing soil erosion.   In 2014 the NRD sold more than 140,000 conservation trees and shrubs, many of which were used to establish or rehabilitate windbreaks and shelterbelts.   Again this year, the UNWNRD will offer very affordable trees for sale, along with technical assistance for windbreak design.

Other important NRD activities for the fiscal year include: youth and adult education and scholarships; distribution of Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation Funds, participation in Wild Nebraska and Niobrara River basin planning.

UNWNRD Board meetings are open to the public and are held at the UNWNRD headquarters in Chadron on the second Thursday of each month.  The meetings are at 9:00 a.m. April through November and at 2:00 p.m. during the winter months of December through March. For more information, please contact the Upper Niobrara White NRD at 308.432.6190 or visit