Republican River Basin-Wide Plan

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This website serves as a resource providing information about the development and implementation of the Republican River Basin-Wide Plan. Information about the plan’s background, stakeholder process, and supporting data and reports can be found here. Additional reports and data regarding the plan’s monitoring and evaluation will be posted to this website throughout the plan’s implementation.

The use, management and stewardship of water throughout the Republican River Basin, has had great influence on the lives, economy and understanding of sustainability for those living in the area. As part of a multi-tiered approach to managing water in the basin, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) and the Upper Republican, Middle Republican, Lower Republican, and Tri-Basin Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) have developed a basin-wide plan to manage hydrologically connected water resources within the Basin.

The Republican River Basin-Wide Plan was developed in response to requirements in Nebraska Revised Statute § 46-755, which requires basin-wide water planning in areas where three or more NRDs within the basin are required to complete Integrated Management Plans (IMPs). Nebraska Revised Statute § 46-755 details the following statutory requirements and procedures for developing and implementing a basin-wide plan. A basin-wide plan must:

(1) Have clear goals and objectives;

(2) Ensure that compliance with any interstate compact or decree, such as the Republican River Compact;

(3) Set forth a timeline to meet the goals and objectives that does not exceed thirty years or April 17, 2044; and

(4) Involve consultation and collaboration with stakeholders that rely on water from the affected area.

The Republican River Basin-Wide Plan examines and makes recommendations for the entire Republican River Basin. Surface water funding and studies may apply specifically to the hydrologically connected area of surface water, and groundwater funding and studies may apply specifically to the hydrologically connected area for groundwater.

The Republican River Basin-Wide Plan includes the following goals and objectives. Within the plan are also action items that outline how each objective will be implemented. The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and the Republican River Basin natural resources districts report progress toward the plan’s goals and objectives in their annual report and at an annual meeting.

Goal 1: Maintain Nebraska's compliance with the Republican River Compact and applicable state laws Objective 1.1: Coordinate basin-wide plan management actions with Nebraska's Compact compliance efforts and adherence to applicable state laws
Objective 1.2: Understand the effects of management actions for Compact compliance on water supplies for Nebraska's water users
Objective 1.3: Assess progress toward meeting the goals and objectives of the Plan, and share the results of this assessment with the Public and the Nebraska Legislature
Goal 2: Maximize Nebraska's efficient and beneficial consumptive use of its portion of the water supply, increase certainty for long-range planning of water supplies to reduce the need for regulatory actions, and increase collaborative efforts among water management entities and stakeholders across the Basin Objective 2.1: Understand the feasibility and potential impacts of Plan actions and establish a standard procedure for projects
Objective 2.2: Improve the efficiency of use, availability, and reliability of water supplie for current irrigators
Objective 2.3: Provide opportunities for collaboration among the Basin's water users
Objective 2.4: Promote conservation programs available to the water users in the Basin
Objective 2.5: Understand how various water management activities of independent decision-makers affect water supplies
Objective 2.6: Evaluate the feasibility and potential outcomes of establishing water markets in the Basin
Objective 2.7: Support the NRDs in management of allocations for irrigation purposes and surface water irrigation districts in management of the allotment of their water supply
Objective 2.8: Conserve water for future use during a drought
Goal 3: Positive public relations, including information sharing, within and outside the Basin Objective 3.1: Improve information sharing with decision-makers and the public about solutions formed within the Basin
Objective 3.2: Improve information sharing with water users who are reliant on the Basin's water supplies
Goal 4: When possible, pursue projects that not only benefit water supplies and uses, but also create benefits for fish, wildlife, recreation, and conveyance within the Republican River Basin Objective 4.1: Where feasible and beneficial, protect and enhance fish and wildlife habitat and public outdoor recreational opportunities
Objective 4.2: Where feasible and beneficial, reduce the effects of undesirable vegetation on water conveyance

Annual Meetings, Reports, and Data

The Republican River Basin-Wide Plan lays out a 25-year implementation timeline, from 2019–2044. In addition, the plan states that the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) and the four participating natural resources districts (NRDs) will share data and information and work together to monitor and evaluate progress toward the goals and objectives of the plan. This includes holding an annual meeting , exchanging annual reports , and publishing data on water supplies and uses in the basin.

Republican River Basin-Wide Plan

Methodologies for Measurable Hydrologic Objectives (MHO) B & C:

  • MHO B: Monitoring Groundwater Depletions to Streamflow

  • MHO C: Monitoring Groundwater Levels
  • Dates Agenda and Minutes Handouts

    November 15, 2022 @ 2:00 p.m. CST



    Parallel 41 Flux Network Presentation

    FCID Meeker-Driftwood Project Summary

    Compact Call Year Handout

    Drought Planning Exercise Update

    November 15, 2021 @ 2:00 p.m. CST




    Parallel 41 Flux Network Presentation

    Water Conservation Incentive Program, Groundwater Option

    Water Conservation Incentive Program, Commingled Option

    Drought Planning Exercise Update

    November 9, 2020 @ 2:00 p.m. CST



    Drought Planning Scenario Exercise Presentation

    CREP Acres

    Tri-Basin NRD 2019 Annual Report for IMP

    NeDNR 2019 Annual Report for Tri-Basin IMP

    GovDelivery Message about Truncated Meeting

    February 20, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m. CST



    Basin-Wide Plan Goals and Objectives, Implementation Timeline

    MHO Decision Frameworks

    Conflict Procedures


    Lower Republican NRD Groundwater Status

    Tri-Basin NRD Republican Basin 2019 Reported Use

    Platte-Republican Diversion Project

    Tri-Basin NRD Water Conservation Incentive Program

    Tri-Basin NRD Topics, Winter 2020

    HUC-12 Project Status

    HUC-12 Presentation

    Twin Valley Weed Management Area

    Southwest Weed Management Presentation

    Annual Report, 2014–2018 (February 20, 2020)

    Annual Report, 2019 (December 7, 2020)

    Annual Report, 2020 (November 15, 2021)

    Annual Report, 2021 (November 15, 2022)

    Data on water supplies and uses in the basin are gathered and reported on annually. The figures below summarize these data and are intended to complement what is presented in the basin-wide Annual Report. Additional data categories and more in-depth analysis can also be found in the report. As described in the basin-wide plan, NeDNR and the NRDs will gradually increase the number of items that are reported on each year, as some data will take longer to prepare for distribution than others. These data may be reported on as part of annual reports or through a different medium such as this website.

    Figure 1: Kansas and Colorado Computed Beneficial Consumptive Use. Source: RRCA Approved Accounting

    Figure 2: Nebraska total surface water computed beneficial consumptive use and groundwater computed beneficial consumptive use by NRD. Source: RRCA Approved Accounting

    Figure 3: Federal Reservoir Year-End Storage Total. Source: United States Bureau of Reclamation

    Figure 4: Republican Basin Reservoirs Net Evaporation. Source: RRCA Approved Accounting

    Figure 5: Irrigated Acres in Nebraska. Source: RRCA Approved Model Input Files

    The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and Republican River Basin natural resources districts developed the basin-wide plan in consultation and collaboration with a Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The committee consisted of 42 individuals who represented a variety of water-related interests, as described below. Fifteen stakeholder meetings were held over the course of approximately three years (2015–2018). All meetings were open to the public, and a public comment period was scheduled at the end of each meeting.

    Meeting agendas, minutes, and presentations from the Stakeholder Advisory Committee meetings are available below.

    DatesAgenda and MinutesHandoutsPresentationsReferenced Materials
    March 31, 2015



    Stakeholder Representation Map

    Summary of Current Integrated Management Plan Goals

    Grayscale version

    TBNRD presentation
    Grayscale version

    June 16, 2015



    Generalized Well Depletion Zones map

    Overview of the Study Area (map)

    Nebraska Revised Statute46.755

    Meeting presentation
    Grayscale version

    NeDNR presentation
    Grayscale version

    Wall map of the Republican River Basin (reduced size)
    August 18, 2015



    Meeting presentation

    NeDNR presentation

    Republican River Basin Compact and Water Legislation Timeline (reduced size)

    FCID application for basin transfer
    (December 19, 1980)

    Analysis of High Plains Resource Risk and Economic Impacts (Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis)
    (August 2013)
    Briefing Presentation
    (August 31, 2015)

    Republican River Basin Study: Summary of Nebraska Results
    Progress Report Presentation
    (December 1, 2015)

    October 20, 2015
    December 15, 2015
    January 19, 2016



    First draft goals, objectives, and action items (tabular form)

    First draft goals, objectives, and action items (conceptual form)

    Surface water statutes, highlighted

    Ground Water Management and Protection Act, highlighted

    Intro and working session presentation
    Grayscale version

    NeDNR Basin Update presentation
    Grayscale version

    NeDNR Water Science Presentation
    Grayscale version

    U.S. Bureau of Reclamation presentation
    Grayscale version

    March 15, 2016



    May 17, 2016
    June 21, 2016



    Statutory Guidelines for the Republican River basin-wide planning process and stakeholder participation, summarized from Neb. Rev. Stat. § 46-755

    Nebraska Administrative Code Title 457 Chapter 24: Determination of Fully Appropriated Basins, Sub-Basins, or Reaches

    DRAFT  notes from April 2016 coordination meeting

    Challenges Discussion/Acvitity handouts

    August 16, 2016



    DRAFT notes from July 2016 coordination meeting

    DRAFT timeline of remaining stakeholder meetings

    DRAFT Stakeholder Advisory Committee Guidance for Republican River Basin-Wide Plan

    Maps for plan area discussion

    Challenges and opportunities discussion handouts: Republican River Basin-Wide Plan Challenges from June 21, 2016, stakeholder meeting and  Proposed actions for August 2016 Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting

    Allocation Discussions Figure

    November 1, 2016 Agenda


    Notes from September 2016 Coordination Meeting

    Notes from October 2016 Coordination Meeting

    Introductory Handout

    • Remaining Challenges
    • Stakeholder questions and data requests

    Plan Writing Handout

    • Required components
    • Example table of contents
    • DRAFT plan language
    • Actions agreed to Aug. 2016
    • Draft geographic areas
    • Legal Opinion

    Water Supply and Use handouts

    Republican River Compact Accounting

    Existing Republican River Basin Water Management Actions

    Distribution of Irrigated Lands and Hydrologically Connected Areas (map)

    LRNRD Township Average Changes and Draft Static Water Level Measurement Changes 2005-2015

    January 17, 2017
    March 21, 2017



    Vision Statement Handout

    Stakeholder Comments on Plan Language

    Other Stakeholder Comments

    Areas of Agreement and Challenges Remaining

    Notes from December Coordination Meeting

    Notes from February Coordination Meeting

    Meeting Schedule

    June 20, 2017



    Plan Language for Goal 5 Handout

    Updated Groundwater Pumping and Acres

    RRCA Accounting Handout

    Allocation History Handout

    April and May 2017, Coordination Meeting Summaries

    Calendar of Remaining Meetings

    Understanding Water Supply and Use, List of Information Provided

    Additional Goal and Objective Descriptive Language - Stakeholders to Review and Comment

    Regulatory Chronology- Stakeholders to Review and Comment

    Three Water Use Maps

    Other Compiled Stakeholder Comments

    Water Supply and Use Data Information

    August 15, 2017
    Agenda Minutes

    Goal #5 DRAFT

    Balancing Water Supply and Use

    Republican River Basin Monitoring Well Records

    Ted Tietjen's Watershed Management Handout

    Republican River Stream Gage and Canal Records

    Annual Augmentation Pumping Records

    July Coordination Meeting Summary

    Meeting Schedule

    Republican River Compact Administration (RRCA) Current Events and FAQs

    Water Supply and Use Data Information

    November 30, 2017
    Agenda Minutes

    DRAFT Funding Section

    DRAFT Measurable Hydrologic Objectives

    Stakeholder Comments on Draft Language

    Summary of Medicine Creek Study

    September and October Coordination Meeting Summary

    Why Watershed Management?

    DRAFT Goals 1-6 (Including Measurable Hydrologic Objectives)

    New DRAFT Objectives and Action Items

    Additions to Draft Goals and Objectives since August SAC Meeting

    Coordinating Committee Water Market Discussion Summary

    Water Balance Handout

    Allocation Language Handout

    Water Supply and Use Presentation

    Republican River Basin Surface Water and Groundwater Acres

    Republican River Accounting: How It's Done (NeDNR Newsletter Articles)

    USGS report: Water-level changes in the High Plains aquifer, Republican River Basin, 2002 to 2015 (report abstract and links map)

    December 13, 2017



    Benefits of recent RRCA Resolutions and IMP updates

    DRAFT Revisions to Obective 4.3

    Draft Table of Contents and Summary of Progress

    Revised Groundwater Pumping and Acres

    DRAFT Allocations Language

    Water Supply and Use Presentation

    DatesAgenda and MinutesHandoutsPresentationsReferenced Materials
    June 1, 2018



    DRAFT Table of Contents

    DRAFT Introduction

    DRAFT Goals and Objectives

    DRAFT Monitoring Section

    DRAFT Schedule

    DRAFT Funding

    DRAFT Plan Area

    DRAFT Glossary

    DRAFT Local Hydrology Appendix

    DRAFT Data and Information Considered During Plan Development Appendix

    DRAFT Plan Development Appendix

    DRAFT Relevant History of Groundwater and Surface Water Management Appendix

    DRAFT Procedures for Addressing Conflicts Resulting from Implmentation of the Republican River Basin-Wide Plan Appendix

    DRAFT Watershed Management Presentation Materials Appendix

    DRAFT Water Market Summary Appendix

    DRAFT 2018-2022 Allocations Summary Appendix

    DRAFT Riparian Evapotranspiration and Removal of Invasive Vegetation Appendix

    Reduction Runs Handout

    Tables of Draft Goals and Objectives Handout

    Platte-Republican Inter-basin Transfer Letter Handout (Provided by TBNRD and LRNRD)

    HUC-12 Project Update (Provided by Ted Tietjen)

    January Coordination Meeting Summary

    February Coordination Meeting Summary

    March Coordination Meeting Summary

    April Coordination Meeting Summary

    Republican River Accounting: How It's Done (NeDNR Newsletter Article)

    June 26, 2018



    Group Decision Making Process Change

    DRAFT MHOs with Stakeholder Suggested Edits

    DRAFT Plan Area with Stakeholder Suggested Edits

    The Republican River Basin natural resources districts and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources developed the Republican River Basin-Wide Plan together, and they are now working together to implement it Below please find links to the plan partners' websites.