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Water Planning Committee Meeting Summary September 30, 2019 Webinar–Jennifer Schellpeper, Nebraska DNR

  1. Call to Order—Chair Jennifer Hoggatt-Missouri DNR—called to order at 10:03 a.m. Central.
  • Introductions of Participants on the call—Jennifer Hoggatt, MoDNR; Sue Lowry, ICWP; Jodee Pring, WWDO; Jennifer Schellpeper, NE DNR; Gail Melgren, SoWest MO Regional; Matt Unruh, KWO: Amy Shallcross, DRBC; Mark Matlock, PADEP; Brian Atkins, AL OWR; Pooja Kanwar, MNDNR; Mark Matlock, PADEP
  •  State Water Planning Presentation: Jennifer’s presentation can be found here. 

Jennifer Schellpeper, Nebraska DNR gave an overview of the Integrated Water Management and Water Planning in Nebraska.  She began with the history of water rights and water law in Nebraska.  Groundwater was not regulated until 1933 when a lawsuit established correlative rights to groundwater.  Natural Resources Districts were set up in 1972.  Statewide water planning was first initiated in 1967 and LB326 was passed in 1981 starting a State Water Planning and Review Process.  A number of lawsuits wanting GW rights to be regulated for benefit of surface water rights were filed and heard by various courts. In 2004 a 49-member task force recommended the integrated planning process (IMP).  Surface water rights are regulated by NeDNR and GW rights by the local NRD’s as correlative rights that share alike. IMP funding source of $6M annually.  Jennifer has staff of 17 across the state.  Water Sustainability Fund passed later–$10M annually.  NRD boundaries generally follow surface water basins.  

Some keys to success

having local needs represented in planning process.  

Voluntary plans are in areas not designated as fully or over appropriated.  IMP in each of 23 NRD’s; Basin-wide Plans have been developed in some water-tight basins. 

Dispute Resolution processes in Upper Platte and Republican basins. 

Local, State and Federal funding sources are available. 

Monitoring is another success of the program. 

Q&A—NEDNR did a survey and found confusion between NeDNR and local NRD’s .  NeDNR has started more outreach including being more visible at events like the State Fair. 

  • Topics and speakers for future water planning learning opportunities
    • Kansas Water Office has offered to present
    • Next meeting will be joint with WD&S to discuss WUDR
  • Planning related topics from Board Strategic Planning session Aug. 5
    • Water Quality and Infrastructure—how ICWP might integrate these topics with our main ICWP mission topic areas—The committee will discuss how these topics might fit into the future workplan. 
  • Relevant activities from other ICWP committees:
    • Priorities survey to ICWP members at Mobile—There are questions on the survey related to state/interstate water planning.  The survey will be sent to the members who weren’t able to attend Mobil the week of Oct. 14 and request the survey be completed by Oct. 31. 
    • Follow-up on PAS Flood Emphasis letter to Asst. Sec. James—James Dalton called Sue after the Board’s letter was sent, saying he knew of no such directive that non-flood mitigation projects would not be funded.  Amy mentioned that DRBC is close to signing the paperwork for a non-flood mitigation PAS.  Staff in the KC district were surprised at Mr. Dalton’s response. 
    • An all-member webinar on Interbasin Transfers has been set for November 19 at 2 p.m. Central.  Dr. Landon Marston from Kansas State University will present.  Tom mentioned that some information about interbasin transfers in the areas with which he is familiar may not be public information. 
  • Next call or webinar—Will see if Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. central will work for joint webinar with Water Data and Science.  Ask Kim Shaffer, USGS to present on her summary of the WUDR workplans. (Post meeting note—joint webinar with WD&S is firm for 10 a.m. Central on Nov. 18.)