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(Alma, NE) Lower Republican Natural Resources District (LRNRD) and Nebraska Bostwick Irrigation District (NBID) have signed an Agreement through which the LRNRD will contribute $1 million to Bostwick’s upcoming automated gate project. This project will significantly improve the efficiency of the Franklin Canal in South Central Nebraska helping to preserve precious water in the Republican Basin.

“This project is the very definition of a ‘Win-Win’ situation,” said Todd Siel, General Manager of the Lower Republican Natural Resources District. “Our directors are pleased the project will now be entering the construction phase and are excited about the future of this partnership with Nebraska Bostwick.”

Nebraska Bostwick operates a series of canals within the LRNRD downstream from the Harlan County Reservoir, including the Franklin Canal, which delivers water from Harlan County Lake and the Republican River for surface irrigation.

This project, designed and built by Rubicon Water Systems out of Fort Collins, CO, is designed to install more efficient automated gates on the Franklin Canal, thus allowing for the retention of additional water in Harlan County Lake. The estimated benefit, in terms of water savings, should be over 2700 acre-feet per year achieved through timelier and more precise deliveries of water to Bostwick’s surface irrigation customers.

Tracy Smith, General Manager, of Bostwick Irrigation District said, “I want to thank Todd and the Board of Directors with the LRNRD, as well as the Board of Directors for Bostwick Irrigation District for their efforts and cooperation on this historic achievement. The project will provide much better control and reliability for the district’s water supply, which will conserve water. We are excited to have the cooperation with the Lower Republican NRD, as well as the technical and financial guidance we have received from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NDNR). We look forward to the implementation of the project, as well as future joint partnerships with LRNRD and NDNR to maximize water supplies in the Republican River Basin.” 

A grant of $2 million from the Nebraska Water Sustainability Fund will pay 60 percent of the $3.2 million cost with the LRNRD contributing $1 million and NBID contributing the rest of the required matching funds. Prep work is expected to begin later this month.

The Lower Republican Natural Resources District (LRNRD), works to protect lives, protect property, and protect the future of Nebraska’s natural resources. To learn more about the Lower Republican NRD visit LRNRD is located at 30 N John St, Nebraska 68920.  Email LRNRD at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the LRNRD at (308) 928-2182.

Lower Republican NRD | 30 North John Street | P.O. Box 618 | Alma, NE 68920 | Phone: 308.928.2182 / 800.353.1297 | E-mail: lrnrd @