NRD seeking 12-inch allocation on NCORPE pumping project

Two natural resources districts (NRDs) where the Lincoln County augmentation project is located want to set pumping allocations for the project, commonly known as NCORPE.
    During the Upper Republican NRD meeting last week, Manager Jasper Fanning said  the two NRDs—the Middle Republican and Twin Platte—want to put a 10-year, 120-inch allocation on the project.
    The two NRDs expressed concern about depletions from the pumping during a meeting of NCORPE partners last week. The Upper and Lower Republican NRDs comprise the other partners in the project.
    The four partners purchased more than 16,000 acres of irrigated land in Lincoln County in 2012 as the Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project (NCORPE).
    The coalition retired the irrigation on the land and drilled high-capacity wells to supply augmentation water to Republican Basin streams and reservoirs.
    The water was used by the Republican Basin NRDs to help keep them and the State of Nebraska in compact compliance with Kansas on the use of basin water.
    A total of 30 wells dot a region of the  property—17 in the Twin Platte NRD and 13 in the boundaries of the MRNRD.        Fanning said prior to the augmentation project, historic use of water for irrigation on the property was 15-16 inches annually, compared to the 12-inch allocation being proposed.
    That allocation would provide each partner with 4,000 acre-feet (AF) that can be used toward compact compliance or making up any deficits from over-pumping that could occur during periods of drought.

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