To the editor:
There will be a public hearing of the proposed North Platte Natural Resource District (NPNRD)”Integrated Management Plan” beginning at 10 A.M. Thursday, July 18 at the NPNRD. This is the public’s opportunity to voice an opinion. I’m suggesting that the NPNRD board request that the NPNRD be designated as “Fully Appropriated” rather than “Over Appropriated”by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Without a clear science based definition of “Fully Appropriated,” we’re chasing a moving target and the doors behind us are being locked: The “Basin Wide Plan requires that the NPNRD must “strive to maintain” any goals achieved. As more goals are achieved, there are more goals to “strive to maintain”. The NPNRD has met and greatly exceeded “First Increment” year 2050 river flow goals of 8000 acre feet per year. More than 23,000 acre feet per year was achieved and downstream users would like the NPNRD to maintain 23,000 plus any additional goals met during the second ten year increment. Additional taxing authority may be req1uested. ( I’m opposed to additional taxes) All other Natural Resource Districts in the Upper Platte River Basin are continuing “First Increment” goals for the “Second Increment”.
Whether or not the request for the “Fully Appropriated designation is granted I’m suggesting that the NPNRD second increment plan should address the problem by agreeing to maintain the original 8000 acre feet per year goal as a firm commitment. The NPNRD should then “Strive to maintain” any additional river flows achieved by making full use of all surface appropriations and reasonable use of the ground water with retimed recapture of crop evapo-transpiration(ET) in MacConaughy and other downstream storage. With projected world population increases, our kids and grand kids may well need to use that water upstream first, downstream later. (Water is reusable per basic water science. )
We should keep our options open and get out of the trap of being required to maintain any level of river flow achieved.