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Platte River Recovery and Implementation Program

The Platte River Recovery and Implementation Program (PRRIP), developed by agreements with Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming and the U.S. Department of Interior is designed to develop a recovery program for endangered species in a critical habitat area on the North Platte River between Lexington and Grand Island. The three states are being asked to adopt a basin-wide, long-term approach to address the habitat needs of these species, including the whooping crane, interior least tern, piping plover and pallid sturgeon.

At the same time, the partnership must decide how to enable existing and new water uses in the basin to proceed without additional action under the Endangered Species Act.

Each state is being asked to offset or mitigate the impact on the river of all new consumptive uses of water that would adversely affect the endangered species. "New uses" of water include any irrigation, municipal or industrial surface or groundwater use developed after July 1, 1997.

The South Platte NRD is one of several co-sponsors of a cooperative hydrology study of the Platte River and its basin in Nebraska, including the Lodgepole Creek Valley and South Platte River Valley in Cheyenne, Deuel and Kimball counties. The goal of the study is to investigate the relationship between surface water and groundwater, and how close to the river or stream that a well can be drilled without affecting the surface water flow.

For more information on the Platte River Recovery and Implementation Program, go to