The Central Platte Natural Resource District (CPNRD) is responsible for managing ground and surface water usage of the two million plus acres of natural resources within the Platte River Basin from Kearney, NE, in the west, to Columbus, NE, in the east. Recently, it was determined that all ground and surface water available for irrigation within their district was being consumed, so a moratorium on new wells and irrigated acres was put in place. In order to continue to allow the landowners within their boundaries to irrigate their land as needed, the CPNRD realized that they needed to develop a system for managing these resources.
ADC consulted with CPNRD and built Water Right Banking (WBR) as an application extension. At It’s core, WRB is very similar to financial banking. By taking every irrigated acre in the district certified by CPNRD, a baseline of water usage was established. With that baseline not to be exceeded, WRB tracks water usage, then reports and alerts when overages are close to occurring, or have occurred. The extension allows for on-the-fly calculation of water usage for a given field, owner information management, and crop type definition, as well as the tracking of the movement of water rights from field to field. Because of the robust transaction tracking built into the extension, CPNRD staff can query the history of how a water right came to be, or ceased to exist at anytime – now and years into the future.
By utilizing the Water Right Banking extension developed by ADC, the CPNRD is able to accurately and easily manage the ground and surface water resources for the entire district. With over half of the more than 2 million acres within the CPNRD being certified as irrigated agricultural land, the benefit of these resource management efforts will be long lasting and far reaching – allowing future generations to continue to benefit from the natural resources within the Central Platte Natural Resource District.