LLNRD Creating Voluntary Integrated Management Plan for Basin

The Lower Loup and Upper Loup Natural Resources Districts have begun developing voluntary integrated management plans for the Loup River Basin. The objective of developing an integrated management plan is to manage the Loup River Basin to achieve and sustain a balance between water uses and water supplies for the long term.  This would be in keeping with the LLNRD’s long term goals and objectives to be pro-active in the management of water resources in the District. 

At the local level, this planning effort will be guided by a Stakeholders Group.  One of the primary roles for members of this group will be to guide the development of the plan and to provide input of importance to the group they represent.  Another role will be to consult in the plan development and participate in discussions during the meetings.  Each participant’s hard work and commitment in this important role will ensure a successful planning process guided by local input.

Residents and water users in the district may offer comments on the voluntary integrated management plan and its development. Click here to create an e-mail in which you may place your comments.  You may also send written comments to Lower Loup Natural Resources District, 2620 Airport Drive, Ord, Nebraska, 68862.

In 2010, the Nebraska Legislature passed a bill that makes creation of a voluntary IMP an option for NRDs.  Like IMPs required in over- and fully-appropriated river basins (the Loup is neither), the goals are to achieve and sustain a balance between water uses and water supplies for the long term. Other goals are to protect existing water uses and to maintain a proactive approach to water management.  Should a fully appropriated designation occur in the future, DNR and the NRD could amend the IMP.

An integrated management plan creates a foundation of data and tools to effectively manage water use and supply.  It creates a framework for the sharing of data.  It looks at the opportunities that exist to create a plan adaptable to changing conditions and it provides an avenue to receive local input regarding future water uses and needs.

The stakeholders will provide input into the development of goals and objectives, convey local water issues and concerns and share information about the work of the stakeholders group with members of their community. 

IMPs change and evolve as the needs of the basin change.  They do not regulate water quality.  The plans are a long term process, requiring months, if not years to complete.  There are several stages, including identification of management setting, assessment of water resources, understanding and predicting the current needs, setting management targets, development and implementation of management options and then monitoring and reviewing the final project.