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Groundwater issues on agenda

Monday, February 7, 2011

CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District will discuss specifics about groundwater management at Tuesday's monthly meeting at 1:30 p.m. at the Curtis Community Center.

Steve Cappel has asked the board to discuss the current occupation tax and six items about the groundwater management: option three consideration, wells and certification after Jan. 1, 2003, over-appropriation status, compliance standards in the Integrated Management Plan, Colorado compliance, and transfers.

Discussion of the occupation tax, requested by both Cappel and James Uerling, is about whether surface water only acres should pay the tax.

Cappel, per his request, also wants to discuss specifically that the option three provision of the IMP, voted on and adopted by the board in August 2010, be removed. The option three of the IMP includes the provision that could allow for the temporary shutdown of ground water uses in an area designated as the Rapid Response Area.

The discussion on the wells and certification after Jan. 1, 2003, is to clarify any misunderstandings about wells dug after the moratorium.

The over-appropriation of acres discussion is about the Frenchman Irrigation District asking the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources to declare the basin over appropriated.

The compliance standards discussion was requested for clarification by Cappel.

Cappel also wants to emphasize that Colorado has been in non-compliance and that 10,000 to 15,000 acres of water per feet was not coming into Nebraska from Colorado.

The transfer discussion is about concerns about past transfers and to look at revisions of rules and regulations on transfers.

Other topics on the agenda are:

* a variance request by Geraldine Clark about her belief that more acres were certified than she currently has. She is asking for an addition of 26 acres.

* Reports on the legal matters including the disputed occupation tax awaiting decision in the Nebraska Supreme Court, the IMP challenge at the Nebraska DNR, and the Kansas v Nebraska filing.

* Nitrate testing at Ginns Lakers North Shore

* and livestock waste control applications.

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