Central Participates in Recharge Partnership

A water delivery point located at the Wildlife Protection Area

Teaming up with Rainwater Basin partners Ducks Unlimited, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, Tri-Basin Natural Resources District and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Central has been a part of completing Phase I of the Western Basin Recharge Project.

As part of the first phase, high-capacity infrastructure was installed from Central’s canals to deliver surface water to various Waterfowl Production Areas including Cottonwood, Funk, Johnson, Linder and Victor Lakes.  The infrastructure was designed to fill the wetlands with 3,000 acre/ft. of water in a seven-day period allowing sites to go from dry to ponding at levels that won’t adversely impact adjacent landowners.

Also completed was restoration of the WPA’s at Cottonwood, Johnson and Victor Lakes.  Cottonwood restoration was one of the largest projects completed on public lands, with excavation of 87,000 cubic yards of sediment. Additional restoration is currently underway at Linder and in the Funk White-front Unit where material will be moved out of the hydric soil footprint and re-contour a waterway coming into the wetland.

Water monitoring equipment was also installed to allow the partners to quantify recharge rates through the wetlands. Results showed that a 10% ponding frequency (36.5 days/year) per acre of wetland could recharge sufficient water to provide drinking water for 265 residents or irrigate 3.5 acres with nine inches during the growing season.