Residents and officials are once again saying no to dams in Washington County.

Two studies, which could lead to large-scale dam construction in Washington County, are currently being conducted by the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (PMRNRD) and the Corps of Engineers and the Lower Platte River Natural Resources District (LPRNRD), respectively.

The PMRNRD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are re-evaluating the Papillion Creek and Tributaries Lakes study, a comprehensive plan to reduce flood risks for the Papillion Creek basin that was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1968 and consisted of 21 dams for flood control, recreation and water quality. The study includes parts of Washington County.

A process to develop the Lower Platte River Drought Contingency plan includes 11 potential mitigation measures, two of which center on parts of Bell Creek in Washington County.

The Washington County Board of Supervisors approved two resolutions and a letter opposing both studies and the construction of dams in Washington County.

Residents have also been outspoken, expressing their concerns to PMRNRD Subdistrict 1 Director Ted Japp of Kennard.

Historically, residents have fought the building of dams in Washington County for many years, including in 2007 when dams were proposed to help flood control and 2009 when a legislative bill proposed allowing the NRD to issue bonds without a vote of the people.

While nothing has been proposed at this point, and officials are trying to reassure residents Washington County dams will not be part of the plans, residents should still let their concerns be known.

Washington County is known for its farmland. If dams are proposed, farmland could be lost.

The Board of Supervisors and Japp should be commended for their efforts to make the PMRNRD, the Corps of Engineers and the LPRNRD aware of how Washington County feels about dams.

Just say no.

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