LLNRD Integrated Management Plan Gets Final Approval

A plan to manage water use and supply in the lower portion of the Loup River Basin has received final approval from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) following passage by the Lower Loup Natural Resources District Board of Directors in March.  An order adopting the Voluntary Integrated Management Plan was signed by DNR Director Gordon “Jeff” Fassett on May 9, 2016.  Click here to view the Voluntary Integrated Management Plan as a pdf.

NRD General Manager Leon “Butch” Koehlmoos said, “The objective of developing the integrated management plan is to manage water in the Lower Loup River Basin to achieve and sustain a balance between water uses and water supplies for the long term.”  The plan was created through a joint effort of the Lower Loup Natural Resources District and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.

Koehlmoos said the IMP was created for a number of reasons.  He said that the plan allows for sustainability of the water supply as well as protecting existing infrastructure while allowing for future development.  It also offers funding opportunities for water projects in the district. The plan creates a framework for the sharing of data and it remains adaptable to changing conditions and it provides an avenue to receive local input regarding future water uses and needs.

Assistant General Manager Russell Callan said that the integrated management of groundwater and surface water means a desired balance between water use and water supply will be maintained to allow for continued economic growth while protecting the use of current groundwater and surface water users.

Callan said the integrated management plan was created after a series of meetings where water use stakeholders offered guidance and input in establishing elements of the plan.  The Lower Loup NRD and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were assisted in creating the plan by Olsson Associates, a consulting firm from Lincoln.

Koehlmoos said that the average water user will not notice major changes in water regulation as most rules in the plan are based on current regulations by the NRD and DNR.