Tri-Basin Natural Resources District

Tri-Basin Natural Resources District is the local government agency which is responsible for protection of natural resources in Gosper, Phelps and Kearney Counties in South Central Nebraska. Tri-Basin NRD is unique among Nebraska’s 23 NRDs because it includes portions of three different river basins: the Republican, the Platte, and the Little Blue Basin. There are 13 members of TBNRD’s Board of Directors, 12 of whom are elected from designated sub-districts and one at-large member. The vision of Tri-Basin NRD, as set forth by these directors, is to work cooperatively with District residents and others to promote good stewardship of land and water resources. Tri-Basin NRD operates a district-wide Groundwater Management Area to protect groundwater quality and quantity. The NRD has regulated fertilizer application to protect groundwater quality since 1989. District staff have worked cooperatively with farmers and agronomists for more than 20 years to help improve the timeliness, efficiency and effectiveness of fertilizer application. These efforts have resulted in stable or declining nitrate-nitrogen levels in groundwater supplies throughout the district. Tri-Basin NRD is also committed to sustaining groundwater supplies at levels equal to or greater than average groundwater levels in the period 1981-85. This commitment is also the objective of the Joint Action Plan for the Republican Basin portion of the district agreed to by the NRD and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources in July 2004. This commitment to protect existing groundwater supplies also protects Nebraska’s credit for “imported water” in the Republican River Basin. The NRD operates 25 miles of drainage ditches and associated works. The NRD cooperates with local irrigation and drainage districts to maintain an additional 12 miles of drainageways. District personnel also serve our constituents in other ways. NRD personnel and our USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service colleagues survey and design terraces, dams and other conservation practices for local farmers. We monitor and map groundwater and surface water quality and quantity. We create and present informational and educational programs about natural resources for adults and schoolchildren. Tri-Basin NRD also employs college students as interns every summer. These students learn “hands on” about natural resources management.