(HOLDREGE, Neb.) –The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District’s board of directors tended to routine business at its monthly board meeting on Monday.
Civil engineer Tyler Thulin reminded the board that Johnson Lake is scheduled to be drawn down beginning the last week of February for an upgrade project related to the electronic control systems at the hydroplants below the lake. Fluctuating lake
levels will make it unsafe for anyone to be on the ice, including ice fishermen and snowmobilers, through at least mid-March.
Thulin also reported that Lake McConaughy’s elevation was at 3,245.6 feet as of Monday morning (volume of 1.21 million acre-feet, or 70 percent of capacity).
Inflow measurements have been impacted by ice conditions on the North Platte River, but are estimated at about 1,000 cubic feet per second. Releases have averaged around 575 cfs, slightly higher than in recent weeks because of a need to meet downstream diversion minimums required in Central’s operating license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Snowpack in the Rocky Mountains continues to lag below normal for this time of year, Thulin said, with the South Platte Basin drainage at 74 percent of normal; the Upper North Platte Basin at 76 percent; and the Lower North Platte Basin at 68 percent. Snowpack is the primary source of runoff that feeds the Platte River watershed.
Also at Monday’s meeting:
Thulin added that RJH Engineering of Englewood Colo., has identified an additional area at Elwood Reservoir that will need installation of a seepage
management system to remediate minor seepage problems. The site, located near the dam itself, is in addition to an area adjacent to the Elwood Reservoir
pump station that had been identified earlier where corrective work is already underway.
Irrigation Operations Supervisor Dusty Way informed the board that the 2021 irrigation season schedule has been set. The first irrigation deliveries will begin on June 7 and the last deliveries are scheduled for Aug. 29.
The board approved an extension of a black start agreement with NPPD for another year. A black start is the process of restoring an electric power station
or a part of an electric grid to operation after a widespread power outage. In this case, electrical power from Central’s Kingsley Hydroplant would help bring NPPD’s Gerald Gentleman Station at Sutherland back on-line as part of re-energizing the grid .
The board accepted bids from Gene Steffy Chrysler of Fremont for the purchase of six pickups for use by the Gothenburg Division and the irrigation division. The total bid for the six pickups, of various sizes and models, was $172,515.
The board accepted a $158,662 bid from Van Diest Supply Co., of McCook to supply various herbicides for algae and moss control in Central’s irrigation
canals and laterals for the 2021 irrigation season.