HOLDREGE — Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District officials are seeking proposals from consulting engineers to review conditions at Elwood Reservoir.

“That reservoir has never been held as high for so long,” Hydraulic Project Operations Manager Cory Steinke said at Monday’s CNPPID board meeting in Holdrege, so a review is needed to see if those conditions affected reservoir structures.

Steinke said he should have proposals for the directors to consider at the Dec. 2 board meeting.

Platte Basin water levels have been higher in recent years. That has allowed CNPPID agreements with the state and Tri-Basin Natural Resources District for water diversions into Elwood Reservoir and the E65 Canal for groundwater recharge when river flows exceed targets for threatened and endangered species habitat.

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The board voted Monday to extend a water service agreement with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and Tri-Basin through Dec. 31, 2023, subject to a final legal review. Steinke said the agreement is similar to the prior ones, but resolution of a small wording issue still must be confirmed with DNR officials.

Also reservoir related, Steinke said Lake McConaughy is at 2.1 feet from full.

As of this morning, Big Mac was at 88 percent of capacity, with 1,534,300 acre-feet of water. The CNPPID website also says inflows are at 1,410 cubic feet per second and releases are at 1,769 cfs.

In other business, the board:

- Approved a progress estimate of $159,901.98 to Allen Blasting & Coating Inc. of Wever, Iowa, for preparation and painting of the J-2 Hydro penstock and surge tank. The project is approximately half done.

- Approved final payment of $6,805 to Tri-City Concrete in Kearney for a $58,673 project to pave parking lots and sidewalks at Central’s headquarters in Holdrege.

- Was told by Irrigation Operations Manager Dave Ford that work is planned for next week on a pipeline from the Phelps Canal to the Linder Wildlife Production Area northwest of Loomis, which will allow Platte diversions into the wetland for fall groundwater recharge. BSB Construction of Curtis completed similar projects at three other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service WPAs last spring.

lori.potter@kearneyhub.com

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