Below normal precipitation and warmer than normal temperatures will impact the Platte River
The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) is working with stakeholders across the state for drought planning. NeDNR is a member of the Lower Platte River Consortium, an Eastern Nebraska group. The Consortium is encouraging the public to start now and be proactive in conserving water. Projections from the Climate Prediction Center at the National Weather Service show that warmer temperatures and below normal precipitation are expected to continue through at least May and June.
Nebraska has experienced an unusually dry fall and very mild winter, with little snow and rainfall. Current conditions in the state are dry, including lower levels of moisture in the soil. Current long-range predictions through May and June indicate above normal temperatures, and below normal precipitation for the state. Dry and warm conditions will have an impact on the amount of water in the Platte River that is available for its various needs and uses.
“The Department will continue to monitor streamflow conditions throughout the summer and will continue to work with the Consortium and share information with the public as we progress into these spring and summer months,” states Tom Riley, Director of the Department of Natural Resources. “As a member of the Consortium, the Department recognizes the need to be proactive and be ready to respond if the warm and dry conditions continue as forecasted.”
The NeDNR has launched an online dashboard available to the public that displays real-time information that the department monitors and collects throughout the state. The dashboard includes current up-to-date drought conditions, common drought indicators, and the streamflow projection for Platte River at Ashland. The data reflects the conditions throughout the Lower Platte basin and the entire state. The dashboard also provides important links to other local and national climate-related resources. NeDNR will continue to closely monitor streamflow conditions throughout the summer and update the consortium partners as conditions change.
To view the dashboard, visit the Department of Natural Resources’ site (dnr.nebraska.gov/water-planning/lower-platte-river-basin).
The Lower Platte River Consortium will continue to monitor the conditions and its entities will work with individuals and communities to conserve water as necessary.
About the consortium
Formed in 2016, the consortium consists of six different entities (agencies) that monitor and rely on the Lower Platte River for their water supply. These agencies include:
- Lower Platte South NRD
- City of Lincoln Water System
- Lower Platte North NRD
- Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
- Papio-Missouri River NRD
- Metropolitan Utilities District