State of Nebraska

This page provides an overview of the parties involved in the compliance of the Republican River Compact and water regulation in Nebraska.

State of Nebraska’s Republican River Compact Administration contact information:

The Director of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR), Tom Riley, is responsible for carrying out the duties of the Nebraska Republican River Compact Administration (RRCA) Commissioner. The RRCA Engineering Committee is a standing committee comprised of representatives from Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas appointed by each state’s RRCA Commissioner. Kari Burgert currently holds the committee position for Nebraska. Contact information for all NeDNR employees can be found here.

Nebraska water resources and policy partners:

The NeDNR represents Nebraska’s interests on interstate water compacts and decrees, and has jurisdiction over matters pertaining to surface water rights for storage, irrigation, hydropower, manufacturing, diversions, instream flows and other beneficial uses. The State of Nebraska has a unique system of 23 Natural Resources Districts (NRDs), which manage natural resources, including groundwater, along boundaries that typically follow the watershed. These NRDs are governed by boards comprising locally elected stakeholders to address challenges on a local scale. A further breakdown of NeDNR partners involved with water resources management can be found here. NeDNR partners with these NRDs to produce Integrated Management Plans to conjunctively manage hydrologically connected surface water and groundwater resources. NeDNR also partners with all four NRDs and stakeholders in producing a Basin-Wide Plan for the Republican River Basin. Below are links to those partners along with a brief description of the agency or organization.

  • Nebraska Department of Natural Resources website
    • Interstate Compacts, Decrees, and Agreements page
    • Republican River Compact page
    • Republican River Basin-Wide Plan website

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Nebraska-Kansas Area Office website

Recent Nebraska Republican River Basin information:

Republican River Basins Publications

Republican River Basins Presentations

Republican River Basin description:

The Republican River flows eastward from Colorado through Southwest Nebraska and into Kansas. Of the approximately 24,900 square miles in the Republican River Basin, approximately 9,500 square miles are in Nebraska, the Republican River Basin covers large portions of four NRDs: Upper Republican NRD, Middle Republican NRD, Lower Republican NRD, and Tri-Basin NRD. In the Basin, approximately half the land is tilled and half is used as pasture and rangeland. The primary crops grown are corn and soybeans, along with wheat and other small grains. Alfalfa and potatoes are also grown in the Basin. There are reservoirs holding more than 25,000 acre-feet in the Republican River Basin in Nebraska, including the second largest reservoir in the state (Harlan County Lake). There are several active irrigation districts in the Basin. The two largest are Frenchman-Cambridge Irrigation District, with more than 45,600 irrigated acres, and the Nebraska Bostwick Irrigation District, with more than 24,000 acres. Including the irrigation districts, there are approximately 112,000 acres that may be irrigated with surface water in the Basin.