Draft Preliminary Groundwater Plan Approved

At their March 9 Board of Directors meeting the board approved a preliminary draft Groundwater Management Plan for the six-county NRD area including Sarpy, Douglas, Washington, and Dakota Counties plus the eastern portions of Burt and Thurston Counties in Nebraska.

The plan was last updated by the Papio-Missouri River NRD in 1994. Since 1994, a significant amount of hydrogeologic information has been gathered on the distribution of groundwater aquifers across the district. Furthermore, with over 30 years of groundwater monitoring data, information on specific areas within the district with water quantity and quality issues have been identified.      “Over 750,000 people live in the Papio-Missouri River NRD area and many rely on clean groundwater as their drinking water supply, and for irrigation as well as businesses across the district rely on groundwater for various industrial uses,” said John Winkler, NRD General Manager.

The NRD hosted a series of stakeholder committee meetings across the six-county area. These volunteer stakeholder committees represented groundwater users in the NRD and the meetings were also attended by County, State, and Federal agencies who provided technical assistance and advice. The role of Stakeholder groups was to convey local groundwater concerns, help define groundwater life goals and management objectives, help identify appropriate resources management actions, and serve as educators/advocates for groundwater in their communities.

Since the completion of stakeholder committee meetings last November, a preliminary draft update to the NRD’s GMP has been completed. This document is intended to entirely replace the existing 1994 plan. This draft plan will now be submitted to the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NDNR) for their statutory 90-day review period. NDNR will also solicit other state agency comments. Following NDNR’s review and comment, a draft GMP will be the subject of a public hearing to be held prior to final approval of the plan by the Papio-Missouri River NRD Board of Directors.

Winkler noted that “we are blessed with an abundant supply of good groundwater in most areas of the district and the goal of the plan is to sustain the quantity and quality of the groundwater we have.”

See the Draft Plan here