LBNRD Groundwater Rules Clarified

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The Little Blue Natural Resources District says a recent article in the Nebraska Farmer Magazine has caused some confusion and concern among producers in the district.

LBNRD says the article incorrectly reported that the Little Blue NRD has adopted a five-year, 45” allocation of groundwater and imposed a well drilling moratorium. The District has not set an allocation amount and the moratorium in place is focused on localized areas.

LBNRD says the District adopted new rules in April 2014 which require flow meter installations to be phased in by April 1, 2017 on all high-capacity water wells (those which pump over 50 gpm). The rules also require certification of irrigated acres and annual reporting of water uses from those high-capacity wells. Until 2017, the reports may be estimates based on any reasonable method.

LBNRD says the District also expended the area of high-capacity well drilling moratorium. A 124,000 acre paleovalley aquifer from Chester to Fairbury has been under a well drilling and irrigated acre moratorium since 2006. The NRD Board expanded the moratorium on high-capacity well drilling to an additional 362,240 acre area where the aquifer is very thin or absent, to protect domestic water supplies in those areas. The stay does not extend into those areas of the District where the aquifer is more productive.

The current rules and regulations of the Little Blue NRD can be found on their web page at the link below. Or, for more information regarding the District’s rules, please contact the NRD office in Davenport (402 364-2145.