Water Quality Management Plan

Water Quality Management Plan

Project Overview

Through an agreement with the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE), and the guidance of JEO Consulting Group, the Upper Big Blue NRD completed a Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) to serve as a road map to improve the water resources and water quality within the district. The WQMP utilized a technical advisory committee and a stakeholder advisory group to identify surface water and groundwater quality issues and to select target areas to focus implementation activities. For more information on the development of the WQMP, visit One District, Two Plans, One Water.
 
In March 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviewed and approved the WQMP, enabling the Upper Big Blue NRD to begin implementing the plan’s recommendations. District-wide and target area implementation efforts will address sediment, nutrients, bacteria, and atrazine, primarily through existing programs administered by the district, NRCS, and other partners. These programs will provide technical and financial assistance for identified best management practices to landowners and producers.

2022 Implementation Phase
The Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District (NRD) is partnering with the City of Hastings and Little Blue NRD to update its 2020 water quality management plan to include an implementation plan for the Lake Hastings watershed. Lake Hastings has been listed as impaired by Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) due to high levels of chlorophyll a, nutrients, and excess sedimentation. Sources of pollutant loading are believed to be both external (watershed) and internal (in-lake). The goal of the implementation plan is to further study existing conditions and contributing causes, as well as identify community-supported best management practices that would achieve and sustain improved
conditions.

It is anticipated the Lake Hastings subbasin implementation plan will be funded through NDEE’s Section 319 grant program, with the local cost share split equally among the three local partners. Once the grant is awarded, the project team will engage Lake Hastings watershed residents, businesses, and recreation users to develop a community-informed implementation plan.



2021 Implementation Phase
In winter 2021-22, to initiate the implementation phase, the Upper Big Blue NRD assembled a target area stakeholder group comprised of landowners, producers, and other interests located within the two target areas identified in the WQMP (Beaver Creek and Recharge Lake). This stakeholder group was tasked with identifying and prioritizing implementation practices that would be supported by landowners within the targeted areas. This group's recommendations are found below, along with additional resources on this topic.  Summary Article