The Little Blue NRD was successful in receiving a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the administration of the Wetland Restoration Program to Enhance Rainwater Basin Wetlands. This program is being carried out in cooperation with the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture.
The primary objective of the project is to fill unused or unwanted irrigation reuse pits which lie in priority wetland basin watersheds within the Rainwater Basin of Nebraska. Filling in these old reuse pits restores the watershed’s natural hydrology, allowing snow melt and storm-water runoff to flow unimpeded into the wetland basin, and in so doing, increases the wetland functions and improves wildlife habitat.
In recent years, many gravity irrigation systems (which recycle irrigation tailwater to the top of the field) have been converted to center pivots systems which apply irrigation water much more efficiently. Since little irrigation runoff occurs from a center pivot and the existing reuse pits are no longer needed, the producer may get assistance through this program to close the pit and reclaim the land area for cropland production. Therefore, the pit-filling program provides a “win-win” situation for the producers and wetland dependent wildlife.
The Watershed Restoration to Enhance Rainwater Basin Wetlands Program is a three-year program which begins July 1, 2013 and runs through June 30, 2016.
To Apply: Contact the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture at 302 382-8112
Cost Share Assistance Provided on a Case by Case Basis