Directors and staff at Tri-Basin Natural Resources District (NRD) are responsible for protecting the district’s groundwater supply, ensuring its sustainability for future generations. In order to effectively do that, Tri-Basin NRD and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NDNR) have worked together to develop Integrated Management Plans (IMPs) for the Platte and Republican River Basins within the district. The purpose of these joint agreements is to protect streamflows from depletion from the use of groundwater.
Tri-Basin NRD’s Platte Basin IMP was initially approved in 2009. The Platte Basin west of Highway 183 is designated by NDNR as over-appropriated. The Platte Basin east of Highway 183 in TBNRD is designated fully appropriated. The IMP lays out specific goals and objectives to prevent loss of stream flows in surface water and decline of groundwater levels in this area. On a larger scale, all of the NRDs in the Platte River Basin have joined with NDNR to establish a basin-wide plan for the same purpose. IMPs are written for a specific time period and must be reviewed and renewed at the end of that time period. The Platte Basin IMP will expire at the end of 2019. At their February board meeting, Tri-Basin NRD directors voted to send a letter to NDNR in support of starting process necessary to renew the basin-wide Platte IMP. In the process, TBNRD staff will review the district’s Platte IMP to assure it aligns with the goals of the basin-wide plan.
Tri-Basin NRD and NDNR protected water resources in the Republican Basin portion of the district through a joint action plan in 2003, then approved an IMP for the area in 2012. Republican Basin NRDs have been working with NDNR to establish a basin-wide IMP, which is near completion. Basin stakeholders will meet in March to finalize the plan, but they need additional time to finish it and hold public meetings. Therefore, TBNRD directors have agreed to extend their participation in the Republican basin-wide IMP process for an additional year.