YORK, Neb. – The Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District (NRD) is embarking on the first-ever combined water quality management and voluntary integrated management planning processes in partnership with both the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR).
Water quality management plans address restoration and protection of water quality and are developed with assistance from NDEQ. Voluntary integrated management plans address the sustainability and quantity of hydrologically connected
groundwater and surface water and are developed with assistance from NeDNR. Typically, these two planning processes are entirely separate due to the difference in focus and involved state agency.
The Upper Big Blue NRD viewed the separate planning processes as a way to combine two inseparable priorities for water quantity and quality into a consolidated planning process that fully engages citizens within the district to help inform the goals and objectives for both plans. The theme for this project is: “One District, Two Plans, One Water.”
The joint planning process will involve a consortium of multi-agency resource experts from federal, state and local agencies being referred to as a Technical Advisory Committee, and also a stakeholder committee comprised of citizens from throughout the entire NRD who represent different types of water users.
Both plans will help to inform future water management decisions to ensure sustainable water quality and quantity in the District for generations to come. This combined planning approach provides the Upper Big Blue NRD and the citizens of its District with a comprehensive view of its water resources in a more time-efficient and cost-effective manner.
The first stakeholder committee meeting will be held at the Upper Big Blue NRD’s headquarters building located at 319 E. 25th Street in York on June 18 from 7p.m. to 9 p.m. The general public and news media representatives are
encouraged to observe this history in the making.
The public is also encouraged to follow this joint planning process by periodically checking for project updates at www.upperbigblue.org