CNPPID officials, water users still waiting for details of proposal to end surface water irrigation
By Lori Potter,
At his board's meeting Monday, CNPPID General Manager Don Kraus said all he has is a press release describing the plan proposed by the Twin Platte and
Those NRDs run along the north side of the
CNPPID and its irrigation customers would be offered incentives, not yet defined, to make the change.
Bishop said the benefits would be less water loss from evaporation than occurs when irrigation water is diverted in the heat of summer, more water in Central-owned and -operated reservoirs, and enhanced Platte River flows from groundwater hydrologically connected to the river and/or its tributaries.
He has said CNPPID still would own and manage the project.
A presentation by Bishop is on the agenda for the June 22 committee meeting of the CNPPID Board of Directors at the Super 8 motel in Holdrege. Central water users have been invited, and John Thorburn, general manager of the Holdrege-based Tri-Bain NRD, said Monday that a majority of his board will attend.
Central District Water Users President Dave Dahlgren of Holdrege asked the CNPPID board Monday what he should say at today's water users meeting. He wondered about how "activist" they should be on the issue.
"It seems to me at this time everyone is slow-playing it," Dahlgren said about the response to what seems to him an attempt to steal the district's water. "... Or do we want to meet Mr. Bishop with a bucket of tar and feathers."
"If you want me to get on the phone and call out the horses and fill up The Tassel, I'll get the people," Dahlgren added, referring to Holdrege's performing arts center that would be a bigger meeting venue.
The Twin Platte-Central Platte press release issued May 9 said an analysis the NRDs commissioned from the
CNPPID delivers irrigation water to 112,000 acres, and 105,000 of those acres are in the primary service area in Gosper, Phelps and
Kraus said Monday that CNPPID officials haven't seen the engineering report on which the proposal to retire the district's irrigated acres is based. Referring to the press release, he told Dahlgren, "You hate to have a big gathering when that's all you've got."
Director Robert Garrett of
Several other board members said they'd like to see as many people at the June 22 meeting as want to hear Bishop's report. "I would pack the Super 8 if you can," said Director Robert Dahlgren of Bertrand.
"Maybe a big crowd in a small place makes an impression," Dave Dahlgren replied.
In other water supply business, CNPPID civil engineer Cory Steinke said
"We'll release only for irrigation this year. ... We'll see what that translates to after irrigation season," Steinke said.
On Monday, the lake contained 1,411,500 acre-feet of water, which was 81 percent of capacity. That compares with more than 1.67 million a-f on June 4, 2011, which was 96 percent full.
Steinke said that after two wet years, he has returned to the routine he followed during the drought years. "This is what we did, save every drop" because of low water supplies, he said.
In other business Monday, the CNPPID board:
Approved, pending legal review, the hiring of Hatch International of Ontario, Canada, for $37,328 to design a stop gate that will allow for repairs at the CNPPID diversion dam gates.
Approved purchase requisitions and/or contract closure payments for equipment that includes two dump trucks, solar wells for
Was told by Irrigation Division Manager Dave Ford that while there has been some early water use, Central's full irrigation deliveries will start next Monday.
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