Water conservation of Platte, Republican major topic at South Central Water Conference

Water conservation in Platte-Republican major topic at South Central Water Conference (NTV News)

The Platte-Republican diversion project was an important topic for many ag producers attending a conference in Holdrege.

Experts and local ag producers have been brought together by the South Central Water Conference to discuss important water issues in the state of Nebraska.

"Focus is mostly local on the Platte and Republican basins," said manager for Holdrege Tri-Basin Natural Resource District John Thorburn.

National and Nebraska speakers came to discuss these water issues.

One speaker said there has been a source of controversy with the two basins over the past two years.

"We're on a good path to resolving water issues associated with the interstate compact in the Republican basin and the endangered species in the Platte," Thorburn said.

He said it's important because people in ag need to be updated on the current status of water resources and management issues in south central Nebraska.

"We've got groundwater level changes reflective of our management actions since 2005. They are achieving their intended goals and we've been seeing the groundwater rise throughout our entire district," said Scott Dicke with the Lower Republican Natural Resource District.

He said these local ag producers have taken on the role of managing their water to produce highest yields.

"It's their business, their livelihood and their future. It's good for them to see that what they're doing is securing future generations ability to irrigate and have a profitable farm because of that, the management actions and efforts they have undertaken," Dicke said.

He said they owe it all to current efforts which farmers are doing.

"It gives the comfort again for future generations. If they want their kids, kids to have grandkids that farm to know that what they're doing today is going to sustain it into the indefinite future," Dicke said.

Experts say they'll continue to gather to discuss these important water issues and help to develop a plan of sustainability for future generations.

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