The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) took comments Tues., Sept. 17 in Kearney on proposed changes to its regulations governing the designation of fully appropriated basins in Nebraska.
Each year the DNR must examine basins not determined to be fully appropriated and determine whether they should be. Fully appropriated basins are those where the DNR determines the existing hydrologically water uses are equal to long-term supplies. The determination triggers the joint development of integrated management plans by affected Natural Resources Districts and DNR to protect existing uses and plan for new development.
Nebraska Farm Bureau submitted written comments to the DNR generally supportive of the proposed changes. Farm Bureau comments encouraged the DNR to continue to be transparent and forthcoming with the methodologies it uses in evaluating basins; encouraged DNR to have the methodologies peer-reviewed to assure they are being used appropriately; and asked the DNR to maintain the existing 10 percent/50-year standard for defining the hydrologically connected area and not to expand it.