Our Mission

Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts have been protecting lives, protecting property, and protecting the future since 1972.  Central Platte is one of 23 NRDs created by the Nebraska Legislature in 1972.  The mission of the Central Platte Natural Resources District is to wisely conserve, manage, and enhance the water, soil, range, wildlife, and forest resources within the District for the benefit of all.

The Central Platte NRD boundaries reach from the Lincoln-Dawson county line near Gothenburg to Hwy 81 near Columbus (see map below).  There are 21 members on the Board of Directors, each serving a four-year term. The board consists of two directors in each of the 10 sub-districts and one at-large director.  Directors in the same sub-district are elected in alternate election years.  Board of Directors

We have 27 staff members in the Grand Island headquarters, the Lexington field office, the Dawson County irrigation canal offices, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service offices in Grand Island, Central City, Kearney and Lexington.  Staff Page

We are responsible for:

  • Soil conservation and erosion control.
  • Flood prevention, control & channel rectification.
  • Drainage.
  • Groundwater, surface water, and water supply.
  • Water quality, pollution control, solid waste disposal and sanitary drainage.
  • Fish and wildlife habitat.
  • Forestry management.
  • Recreation and parks.
  • Range management.

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The Central Platte NRD boundaries reach from the Lincoln-Dawson county line near Gothenburg to Hwy 81 near Columbus. The District includes all or parts of 11 counties: Dawson, Custer, Buffalo, Hall, Howard, Nance, Merrick, Hamilton, Platte, Polk and Frontier.


  • Land Acres:  2,136,304 acres
  • Irrigated Acres:  1,029,230 certified irrigated acres in CPNRD.  Of those: 937,674 groundwater; 14,562 acres surface water & 77,180 acres co-mingled use (groundwater & surface water)
  • Population: According to the 2020 Census, the municipal population is 144,855.
  • River System: River system includes 205 miles of the Platte River, 49.9 miles of the North Channel, and 173 miles of the Wood River.
  • Congressional District: The entire district is within the Third Congressional District.
  • Legislative Districts:  22, 34, 35, 37, 41, 43, 44 are within CPNRD.
  • Education: ESUs 7, 9, 10 are within CPNRD.