Letter to the Editor

Equality needed

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dear Editor,

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.


Jerda Garey


View 16 comments
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  • Out of the 3 choices provided, option 3 was the fairest. Upland irrigators do not get the option of selling water for the compact agreement. They also do not get paid for idling acres, only the groundwater users have that option. Why? Because groundwater affects the stream the quickest. You need to think about the big picture.

    -- Posted by sally jean on Thu, Oct 21, 2010, at 3:20 PM
  • First of all their were 4 options, the LRNRD chose option 4. Option 3 will not work because it does not adress the real problem. That is the 40-70 foot depletions to the aquifer in the URNRD.

    Your forgetting that the waters of the Republican River Basin are hydrologically connected, all wells affect streamflow.

    You need to think about the big picture.

    -- Posted by rw county irrigator on Fri, Oct 22, 2010, at 12:39 AM
  • Option 3 will work because it does not affect just one set of irrigators. You need to look at the whole basin and not just what is infront of you.

    -- Posted by sally jean on Fri, Oct 22, 2010, at 11:16 AM
  • P.S. There were not 4 options. The LRNRD came up with their own which they have still never adopted an IMP and are still out of compliance with the State.

    -- Posted by sally jean on Fri, Oct 22, 2010, at 11:47 AM
  • Sally Jean you are so misinformed I don't know where to start, The LRNRD's current IMP is valid and they are currently in compliance with the 3-state compact. There is no provision for the LRNRD to be in compliance with the state. The reason DNR wanted to change the IMPs is because Arbitrator Karl Dreher concluded 6-30-2009 that "Nebraskas IMPs for the three NRDs are inadequate to ensure compliance with the Compact and FSS during prolonged dry-year conditions."

    In the Bureau of Reclamations testimony at the "option 3" public hearing Aaron Thompson also pointed out to the MRNRD that Arbritrator Dreher concluded "Nebraska's problem in complying with the compact is groundwater CBCU, not surface water CBCU." (Consumptive Use) Six members of the MRNRD ignored Reclamations (Federal Government's) testimony and voted for option 3 anyway. Option 3 also forces the reservoirs to bypass inflows, And puts the URNRD the MRNRD along with the DNR in charge of our reservoirs.

    You need to look at the big picture.

    -- Posted by rw county irrigator on Fri, Oct 22, 2010, at 7:31 PM
  • Sally Jean; Let me explain the "big pictre" to you.

    Irrigation is Irrigation, there is a process that must be followed in order to steal from someone and get away with it, first you have to find a minority, then you need to separate or divide by calling them "suface water","alluvial" or "quick response" vs. "upland" next you demonize them by calling them "inefficient" or "wasteful", then you sway public opinion by saying "too much evaporation off their lakes and canals", or "their pumps affect stream flow much quicker" next you elect or convince a polititian or two to agree with you, then when you dry up their source of water no one will argue.

    This has happened to the H&RW irrigation district, they haven't seen water for 11 years and their hasen't been much outrage, inflows into Enders that started at 60,000 acre feet are now down to 5,000 AF. That water hasen't dissapeared it just being consumed upstream. Were now in the process of taking the wells next to the river and streams, and taking over control of the area federal reservoirs.

    Next they will expand the area and maybe get some of your neighbors then they will come for you and take your water.

    I've skipped a few steps to shorted the story, this happened in Germany back in the early part of the 1900's they weren't after water but its the same pattern.

    Sally Jean my vision is fine, thanks for your concern.

    -- Posted by rw county irrigator on Sat, Oct 23, 2010, at 6:30 AM
  • Is there a forum that might allow some form of even comparison between the candidates? I hate to admit it but everything aforementioned is Greek to me, there are a lot of capital letters up there which combined don't mean a lot to me. From what I can tell, you may well be correct in saying that this is the most important issue to vote on. Unfortunately, professional or not, we're still talking about politicians here. Just because they SAY they will do something is in no way a guarantee that they will follow through.

    I'm starting this late in the game so there will be an element of "catch up" up for me. ..... As a pocket reference: A vote for Who, will mean What?

    Can anyone para-phrase please?


    Pensive Observer

    -- Posted by PensiveObserver on Sat, Oct 23, 2010, at 1:05 PM
  • I made the comment on another post that said if an expert told me the sun was blue, on one of these opinion pages that the readers might believe it. I'm with Pensive on this, I don't know enough about this to even make a half smart decision. I think that maybe I better not read these postings, and find out the facts somewhere else because I might just believe the wrong "expert" here.

    -- Posted by Nick Mercy on Sat, Oct 23, 2010, at 1:27 PM
  • Nick,

    I didn't say I was going to go somewhere else for information. I will indeed find other sources of information in regard to the subject matter, but I DO find it handy to hear different angles of an issue before I get into those boring factual reports. It helps get a true handle of what to look for and what is correct.

    This does seem to be a most important issue and frankly I can't just take someone's word on what the correct idea is.

    More laymen information would be nice on this posting from both arguments so that I might put a bead on the issues regarding the MRNRD.

    I'm hoping to see some understandable / usable information on this page to help me out.

    -- Posted by PensiveObserver on Sat, Oct 23, 2010, at 1:50 PM
  • Nick & PO

    This is the way I understand it, the MRNRD board was given 3 options and the option they chose on a 6-5 vote was to shut off the irrigation wells that are close to the river. This option is really bad for McCook and Culbertson because most of the wells in Red Willow and Hitchcock Counties are near the river.

    This shutoff might be 3 years of 10, but it still isn't fair to let some guys pump and some not. Here is the kicker the guys trying to get re-elected all live in the north country and none of their wells get shut down. Our local NRD guys all voted against the option 3 but were outvoted.

    I'm voting for the local challengers the towns along the river need somebody who will represent them. Hoyt and Palic and a couple others

    I also heard that option 3 drained the lakes anybody else know about that? Butler is empty anyway.

    -- Posted by guitarchicken on Sat, Oct 23, 2010, at 9:35 PM
  • Guitarchicken,

    Thanks.... If what you say is correct then it's easy. The candidates are spread out but our local guys are protecting those in the river valley region? I hope our local guys can get enough support.

    -- Posted by PensiveObserver on Sat, Oct 23, 2010, at 10:44 PM
  • all; go to "district responds" I quoted DNR director Brian Dunnigan's order and it's pretty scarry. We need to keep administration of the federal reservoirs in the hands of the Bureau of Reclamation, not DNR/NRDs. Their managment record speaks for itself.

    -- Posted by rw county irrigator on Sun, Oct 24, 2010, at 2:44 PM
  • Yes the MRNRD faced a difficult decision, and they failed miserably. They chose to sacrifice their neighbor by giving his irrigation well a 0 allocation, deny him of his surface water from the area reservoirs, and take his and his city dwellers weekends at the lake away by literally draining the lakes.

    This decision is sure to have a negative economic impact on the citys and towns along the river. Meanwhile his well and his pcoketbook is given a full allocation.

    Vote for the challengers they will do the right thing.

    -- Posted by rw county irrigator on Mon, Oct 25, 2010, at 12:24 AM
  • Wow! The comments are slanted just like I figured.

    1) For the one-hundreth time, the NRDs do not have any control on the lakes. I do not know why this misinformation has to be propagated so the challengers can get a few more votes.

    2)None of the board members rent land from the violator in the URNRD. This is another bold faced lie.

    3)The rules and regulations in place keep everyone in compliance. These protect everyone from losing in water short years. Quotes from 2009 are obsolete. Yes, people testified but did they have any solutions? Maybe if they had been to more board meetings and listened with an open mind, they may have learned the truth and not just propaganda from a group with an axe to grind.

    4) There are some who say the URNRD doesn't care what happens in the Middle. FVC is located in Imperial and Curly Olney's has a store in Imperial. Do you really believe if you are in McCook, only vehicles with 67 or 48 county license plates are on the streets? This is very short sided. People will not be able to support Valmont, equipment dealerships, grocery stores, and main street. Property taxes in the whole district will go down because people aren't going to pay irrigated taxes which directly affects school and county money. This is the BIG PICTURE.

    5) Go to the web site and get the facts. Don't let the propaganda make your decision.

    6) People need to go to the website and find out FACTS!



    Please use current updated facts.

    You can argue with me, but not with the facts.

    Sally Jean

    -- Posted by sally jean on Mon, Oct 25, 2010, at 11:50 AM
  • Sally Jean

    Reclamation testified at the MRNRD public hearng June 8, 2010. 15 Bureau of Reclamation officials nationwide spent $20,000 to $30,000 in man hours putting this together.

    It can be found at www.usbr.gov/gp/nkao/mrnrd_jun_8_2010.pdf

    6 of 11 board members voted to ignore the U.S. Government testimony. It's only seven pages, thats where you'll find the real facts, everyone needs to read this. This will be my last comment on this subject. over and out

    -- Posted by rw county irrigator on Thu, Oct 28, 2010, at 7:50 AM
  • at Reclamations website search "MRNRD testimony" and that will get you there

    -- Posted by rw county irrigator on Thu, Oct 28, 2010, at 7:57 AM
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