There may be no subject more important to the citizens of the Republican River Basin than water. Its use, management, and stewardship have shaped their lives, economy, and their understanding of sustainability. This project, to develop a Basin-Wide Water Management Plan for the Republican River Basin, was initiated in response to the requirements in Nebraska Legislative Bill 1098 (LB1098) and Nebraska Revised Statute §46-755. Along with development of a new source of funding for water projects called the Water Sustainability Fund and expansion of the Natural Resources Commission, LB1098 requires basin-wide water planning in areas where three or more Natural Resources Districts in a river basin are required to complete Integrated Management Plans. Currently, the only river basin that the LB1098 basin-wide planning requirements apply to is the Republican River Basin. for this reason, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, in collaboration with the four Natural Resources Districts within the Republican River Basin—the Upper, Middle, and Lower Republican and the Tri-Basin Natural Resources Districts—are preparing a Basin-Wide Water Management Plan.
According to the bill and state statutes, the basin-wide plan shall:
Have clear goals and objectives with a purpose of sustaining a balance between water uses and water supplies so that the economic viability, social and environmental health, safety, and welfare of the river basin, sub-basin, or reach can be achieved and maintained for both the near term and the long term.
Ensure that compliance with any interstate compact or decree or other formal state contract or agreement or applicable state or federal law is maintained.
Set forth a timeline to meet the goals and objectives according to a timeline that does not exceed thirty years or April 17, 2044.