Basin in compact compliance

Despite this year being one of the driest years since 2012, Nebraska’s Republican River Basin will remain in compact compliance with Kansas for another year. 

Upper Republican Natural Resources District Mnager Jasper Fanning said the basin has benefitted from several previous wet years.

Going into this irrigation season, Harlan County Dam was near capacity. Even withdrawls this summer, Harlan County Dam still holds more than 130,000 acre-feet of water.

That level is the trigger point which determines whether the basin is in a compact call year. 

In a compact call year, consumptive use in the basin for compact compliance purposes is figured over a tighter two-year average versus a five-year average in non compact call years. 

This year the basin was not in a compact call year. The forecast by the Department of Natural Resources indicates 2021 will not be a compact call year either, retaining the five-year compliance averaging. 

No augmentation

Being in compliance also means no augmentation project pumping will be needed this year. In fact, the last time agumentation pumping was necessary in the Republican Basin was in 2017. 

DNR releases compliance numbers late in the fall each year, so the compliance numbers next fall will determine if augmentation pumping will be needed in late 2021 and early 2022. 

The Twin Platte NRD, a partner in the Lincoln County augmentation project known as NCORPE, completed a pipeline to link into the Platte River. 

Twin Platte is delivering augmentation pumping from NCORPE into the Platte to meet their obligations of integrated management plans with DNR. 


The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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