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7 NRDs join together under one water management plan

(NTV News)

Seven natural resource districts have joined together for the future of their water supply.

Loup, Elkhorn and the Lower Platte basin NRD’s are now working on one water management plan.

The coalition began just two years ago, when a few NRDs decided teaming up could save their future.

However, it was not until this year the NRDs agreed to share their findings and move forward with the water management plan.

Russell Callen, with the Lower Loup NRD in Ord, said if we go back to 2008, the basin was declared fully appropriated, meaning the water was being completely used.

Since they thought it was fully appropriated, strict rules on water usage could have been enforced.

"At that time, it kind of indicated to us, us as in the group that we're probably close to being fully appropriated so basically the main function of this coalition and the grounds for this plan, was to not have the basin come fully appropriated,” said Callan.

Callan said after more data was collected, the basin was undeclared and no longer at risk.

This water management plan works in increments of five years, and what it includes is collecting more data and taking water inventory from each NRD and studying it all together.

"... And then looked at some time frames, in other words, peak season, off peak season, how much water was available and how much we as a group agreed to deplete the system or to allow for development,” said Callan.

Callan told NTV News that the basin water affects everyone in the community, from using it to water plants, running the tap water and even being able to irrigate your land.

"As far as the agricultural community, there's some potential for development that's kind of been stopped for a while, so if someone's wanting to add some acres here or there we may be able to do that,” said Callan.

They will be able to add those acres because Callan said they will have the water to spare.

Since they are just two years into the plan, they will continue collecting data and reevaluate the strategy in another three years.

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