Surface Water Permitting & Data

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Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

Nebraska Platte-Republican Resources Area CREP

The Nebraska Platte-Republican CREP was formed through a Memorandum of Agreement dated April 4, 2005, between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), and the State of Nebraska. The CREP is part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) operated by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) for CCC. The purpose of the program is to improve water quality and quantity and create or restore wildlife habitat by converting irrigated cropland to non-irrigated habitat. The elimination of irrigation reduces the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and atrazine that leaches into the ground and surface water and the vegetative buffers reduce run-off into streams and rivers. The goal of the program is to sign up 100,000 acres of irrigated land for a period of 10 to 15 years. 

The  area subject to the program is land close to the Platte River and its tributaries from the Wyoming border down to the headgate of the Kearney Canal on the Platte River, and the entire Republican River and its tributaries. 

The MOA was amended in 2016 and now allows for re-enrollment of existing contracts for another 10 to 15 years. Applications for re-enrollment must be received and approved prior to the original contracts termination. 

To apply for participation in the Nebraska Platte-Republican CREP, the producer first visits his local FSA office. There will be a contract with the FSA and a separate contract with the State of Nebraska. The application for a contract with the State may be found below under FORMS. The Water Use Contract between the producer and the State is a legally binding document whereby the State secures the beneficial use of all the water associated with the property being enrolled in CREP for the term of the contract. At the end of the contract, the full use of the water enrolled in CREP is returned to the producer. If the producer does not meets the terms of either the FSA contract or the State contract, both contracts are negated and refund of monies paid to the producer will be required.

For surface water appropriators that want to enroll in CREP, there may be additional requirements. These requirements are described in the CREP Water Use Contract form.

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