The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (NRD) Board of Directors, acting on behalf of six eastern Nebraska natural resources districts, has approved an agreement for a contractor to map additional geology in all six and compile reports by the end of 2019.

The Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA), which also includes the Lewis and Clark, Lower Elkhorn, Lower Platte North, Nemaha and Papio-Missouri River NRDs, will supervise the aerial surveys conducted using sensing equipment suspended by a helicopter.

The agreement names Aqua Geo Frameworks (AGF), of Mitchell, Nebraska as contractor for the $3.3 million project, nearly $2 million of which will come from a Nebraska Water Sustainability Fund grant through the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources. The balance of the cost will come from the NRDs and the Lower Platte South portion is $304,000.

The grant and service contract, both approved by the NRD Board, which met on Wednesday, in Lincoln, are part of an on-going project to map eastern Nebraska’s complex geology and to help manage and locate sources of ground water.

ENWRA Coordinator Katie Cameron told the NRD’s Water Resources Subcommittee, “AGF will fly a total of about 4,500 linear miles over designated parts of each NRD, adding to hydrogeologic data already collected since mapping began in 2007.” She expects the flights to begin this summer.

The NRD Board also elected officers for 2018, retaining Ray Stevens as Chair, Larry Ruth as Vice-Chair, Jeremie Kerkman as Treasurer and Deborah Eagan as Secretary. Milt Schmidt and Bruce Johnson were elected as the board’s representative and alternate, respectively, on the Board of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts. Stevens said, “The NRD Board of Directors is an extremely talented and experienced group of women and men and I am honored to have been elected to serve as chair for a second year.”

In other action, the board:

*Approved the drilling of a monitoring well in the Dwight-Valparaiso-Brainard Special Management Area, just west of Valparaiso

*Authorized the acquisition of land rights, appraisal and right-of-way services for the rehabilitation of Oak-Middle Dam 82-B, five miles north of Garland

*Approved a Work Crew Agreement with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services

*Approved an initial transaction agreement with the National Association of Conservation Districts for the hiring of an additional technician

* Established average costs of best management practices for use in 2018 NRD programs

*Approved cost-sharing for a farm pond and for two terrace systems located above Salt Valley lakes


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