June 28, 2022 Board Meeting Summary
Central Platte NRD to Hold 50th Anniversary Open House on July 14
The Central Platte NRD will host a 50th Anniversary Open House on Thursday, July 14th at CPNRD’s office located at 215 Kaufman Ave in Grand Island. Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele will present a proclamation recognizing the NRD’s Anniversary at 3:00 p.m. The celebration will include food, games and both indoor and outdoor activities to learn what the NRD has accomplished and what’s in the works for the future. Booths will feature progress in water management, wetlands, crane decks, flood control, prescribed fire, GIS, trees, and cost-share programs.
Water sampling bottles will be available for domestic and/or irrigation well sampling and attendees will learn what average nitrate levels are in their community. CPNRD’s prescribed fire trucks and gear, tree planting machine, past/current soil moisture monitoring equipment, and the schematic design of the proposed education center/office will be on display. Governor Ricketts will start the weeklong celebration, by proclaiming July 11-15 as NRD Week to recognize the 50th Anniversary of Nebraska’s 23 Natural Resources Districts. For details on CPNRD’s Open House call (308) 385-6282 or visit cpnrd.org.
JUNE 28 BOARD MEETING SUMMARY
-Groundwater Levels The spring 2022 static groundwater levels compared to the 1982 levels were presented at the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) Board of Directors meeting on Thursday. Angela Warner, GIS Specialist, reported that 11 of the 24 Ground Water Management Areas (GWMA) were below the 1982 level. Following are declines by GWMA:
-GWMA 19 is down 3.11 feet and GWMA 23 is down 3.19 feet, both triggering below 25% decline.
-GWMA 12 is down 3.92 feet but has increased above 25% decline for 3 years.
-GWMA 16 is down 2.17 feet but has increased above 25% decline for 4 years.
-GWMA 2 is down 2.32 feet but has increased for 5 years. It is now open for transfers and supplemental wells.
-GWMA 9 is down 9.06 feet. This area has the largest continuous declines.
-GWMA 20 down 4.78 feet.
Thirteen of the GWMAs are above the 1982 levels with increases ranging from 0.15 to 16.35 feet. The 1982 levels were established as the standard for the NRD’s Groundwater Management Plan with maximum acceptable declines and a margin of safety calculated for each of the District’s 24 Ground Water Management Areas (GWMAs) based on topography, soils and the hydrology within each area. A comparison map is available at the Central Platte NRD office and available for download at cpnrd.org.
-Draft Budget The Board approved the 2023 Fiscal budget of expenditures to hold a public hearing at 1:45 p.m. on July 28, 2022, just prior to the Board of Directors meeting. The total proposed budget is up $3.8 million with the tax asking up $490,000. A hearing to set the tax request and levy will be scheduled for the August board meeting which will be September 1st, after all county valuations are completed.
-Update Ground Water Management Plan The Water Utilization and Water Quality committees reviewed the proposed updates to the NRD’s Ground Water Management Plan. Olsson Engineering incorporated new data acquired since the approval of the plan in 1985, including hydrogeologic, climate and socio-economic data of the groundwater resources. Plan triggers, data sets and maps, and data from the 2022 Cooperative Hydrology Study model (COHYST) to predict 50-year simulations have been added. The water quality portion of the plan was not changed. Proposed updates:
• Allow subdistricts 7 and 9 to be subdivided based on level of development and hydrology.
• New phase triggers to reflect percentages of maximum acceptable declines.
• Add management regulations to require meters and allocation to address groundwater decline instead of
reducing irrigated acres and well spacing.
The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and the Nebraska Department of Environment & Energy will review the updated Plan. Public information meetings will be scheduled. Following the reviews, a public hearing will be held and the Board will consider adopting the Ground Water Management Plan in the next few months.
Nebraska GeoCloud Project The Board approved continuing CPNRD’s participation in an Interlocal Cooperative Agreement to extend the project through 2027 in the amount of $12,000. The annual project collects airborne geomagnetic imagery with the intention to correlate that data with sub-surface geology and hydrogeology. Central Platte NRD has been a partner since 2016 when the project was initiated as a joint effort with the following NRDs: Lewis & Clark, Lower Elkhorn, Lower Platte North, Lower Platte South, Nemaha, Papio-Missouri River, Lower Loup, Upper Elkhorn, and Twin Platte. Other partners include USGS, Aqua Geo Frameworks, and the University of Nebraska’s Conservation and Survey Division.
Manager’s Report Lyndon Vogt, General Manager, reported on the following:
-Legislative Update: Marcia Lee, Information/Education Specialist, represented CPNRD in a meeting with Teresa Ibach, the District 44 newly elected Senator. Dean Edson and representatives from other NRDs discussed water programs and projects that are carried out by NRDs to assist with Platte and Republican River issues.
-Violations: Nine producers are out of compliance with the NRD’s Ground Water Quality Rules and Regulations.
-Groundwater Management District Association (GMDA): The Summer GMDA conference was held last week at Copper Mountain, CO. Directors Deb VanMatre, Charles Maser, Doug Reeves and General Manager Lyndon Vogt attended the conference that focused on the Colorado River water management and the conjunctive management issues on the South Platte River.
-Tree Report Kelly Cole, Administrative Assistant, reported that CPNRD sold 40,866 trees through the Conservation Tree Program and 13.4 miles of fabric weed barrier in 2022. Since CPNRD started participating in the Conservation Tree Program in 1973, the NRD has sold over 3.8 million trees; and has sold over 600 miles of weed barrier since that program began in 1991.
-414H & 457 Plans The board approved adoption of the 414H and 457 eligible governmental plans for employees through the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts.
-Natural Resources Conservation Service Reports
Jacob Kendrick, Resource Conservationist of Central City, reported that cost share is available for:
-Soil moisture probes and Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI): VRI paired with a soil moisture probe on pivots can improve your energy and water use. There has been a significant growth of farmers using real time aerial plant sensor data in conjunction with fertigation to reduce nutrient application, while still maintaining their yields.
-Compost management: to reduce objectionable odors and reduce runoff & leaching. The process for this cost-share is longer than a traditional EQIP. This practice is mostly utilized by larger operations. Poultry operations seem to be using drum composters, this facility will reduce the time it takes to produce compost, which is typically one month down to only seven days. Another option would be to implement concrete bins. The cost share amount is dependent on the size of operation.
Kendrick also reported that a Cover Crop & Soil Health Field Day will be held on July 19th in York, NE. Presentations by NRCS, Pheasants Forever, UNL Extension and The Nature Conservancy. Register at https://nebraskapf.com/product/cover-crop-soil-health-field-day/
Joe Krolikowski, District Conservationist, reported that NRCS conducted the annual status reviews as part of its conservation provisions of the National Food Security Act of 1985 for the 2022 crop year. In total, staff completed 64 status reviews for potential wetland and/or highly erodible land issues, and in some cases, tracts contained both.
-Cost-Share One application for a flow meter was approved through the Central Platte NRD’s Cost-Share Program in the amount of $800.00.