Water is our most valuable natural resource. It is the key for our health, lifestyles, local recreation and economic well being.
Today the development and implementation of policies that control this resource are in the hands of the Natural Resource District Board. Election time is drawing near and our votes will determine who will be making some of the most important decisions affecting our lives.
This NRD board requires members who have a sense of responsibility, high integrity,and who will utilize objectivity in making extremely important decisions. Southwest Nebraska has produced many great leaders in the past and soon voters will be casting their ballots for these board representatives who must become leaders and visionaries.
Equality is the issue in this campaign. It is important for the voter to select those individuals who will support the concept of equality to ensure that all citizens in Southwest Nebraska have access to our water supply and that all are working to conserve this natural resource.
Past decisions will produce a negative effect on the communities located on the Republican River and its tributaries if the water level continues to lower. The issues are becoming closer to reality for implementation which will require shutting off all irrigation, including wells within the boundaries of the DNR's rapid response area, including tributaries such as the Frenchman River and Medicine Creek with no guarantee of compensation in water-short years, while upland irrigators can continue to utilize the resource. Twelve candidates are vying for six positions. Five of the incumbents seeking Board membership voted for the implementation plan that does not appear to provide equal treatment.
The economic result not only affects the rural population, but the 70 percent of our businesses in the Republican valley and in the communities of Maywood and Curtis that are dependent upon the economics of agriculture. Results of water loss eventually affect recreation opportunities and reach county and city governments where less revenue will reduce services and infrastructure maintenance or raise taxes to maintain current levels.The NRD board also determines allocations for domestic use in communities and for economic development.
Therefore, it is imperative that voters do their homework and determine which candidate will work diligently for the best interests of everyone -- our future will be in their hands.