CURTIS -- Board members of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District will discuss how to revise its water plan to include Option 3, at their regular meeting Tuesday, 7 p.m. at the Community Center.
Option 3 is one of three that the state has asked the NRDs in the Republican River Basin to implement in water-short years. Discussion Tuesday night will center around how to include this option in the district's integrated management plans and groundwater rules and regulations, with no action taken.
"I am guessing that most of the discussion will center around the timeline for implementation and the status of the plans of other districts," said Dan Smith, MRNRD general director. "We do have a rough draft of the proposed revisions to the IMP and to our rules and regulations. I'm sure there will be comments and suggestions on those also."
Integrated management plans are crafted between NRDs and the state when river basins are designated as either fully or over appropriated. The plan regulates irrigation amounts from groundwater pumping and surface water.
Option 3 would shut down all wells in an area defined by Nebraska Department of Natural Resources as the 10-percent/two-year Rapid Response Area.
This would include all wells in a defined area where water pumped over a 2-year period would cause a 10 percent reduction to stream flow.
The option would shut down quick response wells, those located within 2.5 miles of the river, with the Lower Republican in Alma taking the biggest hit, at 45,800 acres, or 41.5 percent, shut down.
In the Middle, 37,300 acres, or 33.9 percent, would be shut down and in the Upper, in Imperial, 22,700 acres, or 20.6 percent, would be affected.
The final 4,200 acres are in the Holdrege-based Tri-Basin NRD.
MRNRD board members have said Option 3 is not something they want to implement and hope to come up with another strategy with DNR to avoid using it.