The Twin Platte Natural Resources District recently was awarded a $1.6 million grant from the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission for a new Water Data Program. Grant funds were available through the Water Sustainability Fund.
TPNRD's Water Data Program is a result of the TPNRD Integrated Management Plan, designed to help ag producers know the amount of irrigation water being applied on a field-by-field basis.
TPNRD has contracts with local well drillers to receive accurate flow rates. Partnerships with electrical companies are being developed to automate the download of smart meter readings. These combined partnerships will automatically calculate water use on daily intervals and store the data in an online system known as AgHub.
Electrical companies, well drillers, TPNRD and Grower Information Services Cooperative are working together to provide user-friendly water data on smartphones or computers. This information can save producers from irrigating when it is not needed.
"This grant is a huge step in helping TPNRD provide information to local irrigators, so they can efficiently and responsibly use water," said Kent Miller, TPNRD general manager. "This grant shows the state's interest and commitment in using technology to report accurate water-use data."
TPNRD will host open houses Jan. 13-15 throughout the district. Follow TPNRD on Facebook and Twitter @NrdTwin to get the details.
Newsletters and direct mailers also will include open house dates and information on signing up for the Water Data Program.