45 Days of Facts Count Down

On July 1st, the North Platte Natural Resources District (NRD) will be celebrating our 45th year of operation. In conjunction with the other 22 NRD’s, we will be posting daily interesting pieces of information about both the NPNRD and the NRD system as a hole. 


  1. In 1895, the first irrigation district in Nebraska was created within the NPNRD area. Source: “Flat Water: A History of Nebraska and Its water”
  2. Since 1895, Nebraska has had an administrative system overseeing the orderly use of the State’s surface water resources. All diversions of surface water for irrigation, hydropower, industrial use, municipal use, domestic use, storage and other uses require a State permit. The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources is the State agency authorized by Nebraska statutes to issue surface water permits, called appropriations. More recently, authority of the Department was broadened to include issuing permits for instream uses for recreation; fish and wildlife; induced ground water recharge for public water suppliers; and diversions by ground water irrigation wells located within 50 feet of the bank of the channel. Each permit has certain responsibilities, limitations and conditions associated with it.” This quote is sourced from http://www.dnr.ne.gov/swr
  3. 1921- The Nebraska State Irrigation School opens near Scottsbluff NE. In 1923 school closes due to low enrollment. Source:Flat Water: A History of Nebraska and Its Water
  4. Pathfinder Dam was one of the first constructed by the brand-new U.S. Reclamation Service or as it is known today’s Bureau of Reclamation, that was formed to administer the Reclamation Act of 1902. https://www.nps.gov/nr/testing/ReclamationDamsAndWaterProjects/Pathfinder_Dam.html
  5. 1935- Governor Cochran places Scotts Bluff County under martial law over a water dispute in the Mitchell Irrigation District, the so called “Water War of 1935” Source: “Flat Water: A History of Nebraska and Its Water”
  6. There are 5 NRD’s that make up the Upper Platte Basin area.
  7. In 1957, the Watershed Conservancy District Act was enacted to provide a local entity of government with authority to sponsor flood control projects http://www.npnrd.org/assets/site/History/History_of_NRDs0709.pdf
  8. In 1957, the legislature makes well registration mandatory. Source: “Flat Water: A History of Nebraska and Its Water”
  9. Between 1957 and 1969, the following changes occurred one was that a general leadership role of local district officials and the State Soil and Water Conservation commission began to emerge in the broad field of natural resources development. http://www.npnrd.org/assets/site/History/History_of_NRDs0709.pdf