Lower Loup NRD Watershed Project Receives Award

The Lower Loup Natural Resources District’s “South Loup River Watershed Management Plan” has been named the winner of the Environmental Planning Award by the Nebraska Chapter of the American Planning Association.

NRD Assistant General Manager Tylr Naprstek said that the Lower Loup NRD developed a group of stakeholders representing a variety of interests in the watershed, from agribusiness to community representatives and others affected by the water issues.  He said those stakeholders helped guide the process of developing potential remedies to the problems.  “Without the commitment and dedication of our stakeholders group, this project would not have been the success it is,” Naprstek said.

The awards jury said the project showed a great effort to get stakeholders engaged and that having engineers, planners, and scientists working together on the watershed in a holistic manner was a good approach.

Water quality issues are a concern in the watershed, both for groundwater nitrate levels and in-stream e Coli bacteria levels.  The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has also labeled several locations on the South Loup River as impaired.  Naprstek said that the watershed also has water quantity issues, including groundwater level declines in the basin, which have not made a full recovery following the drought of 2012.

Naprstek represented the LLNRD at the awards banquet held during the Nebraska Annual Planning Conference in Kearney on March 7th.

The South Loup Watershed Plan can be found here.