01/27 - Kraus receives Four States’ Headgate Award

Don Kraus

Don Kraus, general manager of The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (CNPPID), received the Four State Irrigation Council’s 2017 Nebraska Headgate Award for service to Nebraska’s irrigated agricultural community.

Kraus has more than 40 years service to CNPPID, beginning in 1971 as an electrical engineer. He manages CNPPID delivery of irrigation water to more than 109,000 acres in south central Nebraska and providing generation of hydroelectric power from four plants with the capacity to produce 113 megawatts of electricity. 

CNPPID’s project also provides benefits for groundwater recharge, recreation, and fish and wildlife habitat. It owns and operates Lake McConaughy, the state’s largest reservoir that recently celebrated its 75th anniversary.

Kraus has served as president of Nebraska Chapter of the National Society of Professional of Engineers; president of the Nebraska Power Association; and president of the Groundwater Foundation. He chairs the Platte River Cooperative Hydrology Study and sits on the board of the Natural Resource Commission.

He has embraced the challenges that the irrigation and power industry have given him and understands it is essential to protect, extend and conserve the vital resources for future generations while also supporting our state’s economy.

“It is important to listen to your customers and take care of your employees,” he said, when asked about his approach to management. “You rely on both. It is also very important to build relationships with others who have responsibilities to manage water resources.”

Under Kraus, CNPPID has been a primary partner with the Nebraska Water Center in planning and managing the University of Nebraska’s annual water and natural resources summer tour. CNPPID has long supported water and natural resources research and education at NU.

The Four States Irrigation Council was established in 1952 to serve as a forum for irrigators to exchange ideas and information and discuss specific irrigation-related issues to learn if other members have explored solutions to problems. Member states are Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming and Kansas.

Kraus becomes the ninth CNPPID employee or board member to receive the Headgate Award, joining Tim Anderson (2012); Robert Petersen (2009); Don Schepler (1999); C.J. Hargleroad (1989); Dick Dirmeyer (1983); Stan Matzke (1967); Ralph Canaday (1962) and George Johnson (1958).