Well Conflicts Rise as Nebraska Water Levels Fall

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Conflicts between the users of residential and irrigation wells have sprung up as Nebraska water levels fall.

Those conflicts have spurred the Norfolk-based Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District to consider flow meters and pumping limits where the conflicts are well-defined.

The district board members voted Tuesday to reserve $100,000 to buy flow meters that would be provided to district residents who would pay half the cost.

But before going ahead with the meter distribution, the district staff must draft a plan that designates the conflict areas.

The district says recent measurements show water levels have dropped over the past year in all 243 irrigation wells in the district.

The U.S. Drought Monitor map shows virtually all of Nebraska remains in extreme or exceptional drought.