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The Middle Republican Natural Resources District is responsible
MRNRD Policy, Rules & Regulations
Ground Water Management Area Rules & Regulations
The purposes of the management area are (1) to protect ground water quantity; and (2) the prevention or resolution of conflicts between users of ground water and appropriators of surface water, which ground water and surface water are hydrologically connected through implementation of controls to meet the goals and objectives identified in the Integrated Management Plan for the Middle Republican Natural Resources District and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.
Special Republican River Settlement Issue
On December 16, 2002 Governor Mike Johanns and Attorney General Don Stenberg announced that Nebraska reached an out-of-court settlement in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Kansas vs. Nebraska, over the Republican River Basin Compact. Five months later in May 2003, the Supreme Court approved the settlement.
The Compact, signed in 1943 by the three basin states of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado, allocated the average annual water supply in the Republican River giving 49% to Nebraska, 40% to Kansas and 11% to Colorado. The 17 months of negotiations were intense, grueling and time consuming for the representatives of each state.
The Settlement agreement meets the key objectives Nebraska hoped to achieve and avoided the uncertainty and expenses that would have been involved had it gone to trial. The Settlement agreement states that compliance will be measured in 2007 unless we have a water-short year, in which case compliance will be measured in 2006.
Ground water pumping beginning in 2003 will be the basis of a five-year running average that Nebraska must not exceed in order to comply with the Compact Settlement. In water-short years this running average becomes a two or three-year average. A water-short year is one in which the Bureau of Reclamation projects the water supply for the Kansas/Nebraska Bostwick Irrigation District to be less than 119,000 acre-feet.
In a water-short year Nebraska must limit its consumptive uses above and below the Guide Rock diversion dam near Guide Rock, Nebraska. It is expected that Nebraska should be able to maintain most, if not all, of its existing uses in normal years. In water-short years, which occurs 25% to 33% of the time, Nebraska must reduce it’s consumptive use in order to stay in compliance with the compact.