UNWNRD Ground Water Update

Spring 2013 Ground Water Levels were collected in March by Upper Niobrara White NRD staff from 163 wells. Variations in the yearly change (spring 2012 to spring 2013) in individual wells ranged from an increase of 1.1 to a decrease of 8.39 feet. The average changes in ground water level in the District’s 6 sub-areas are as follows:

• Sub-area I (Pine Ridge Sub-area) decreased 0.39 feet or 4.68 inches.

• Sub-area II (Hay Springs-Rushville-Gordon Sub-area) decreased 2.18 feet or 26.16 inches.

• Sub-area III (Sandhills Sub-area) decreased 0.94 feet or 11.28 inches.

• Sub-area IV (Box Butte Sub-area) decreased 2.19 feet or 26.28 inches.

• Sub-area V (Upper Niobrara River Sub-area) decreased 0.86 feet or 10.32 inches.

• Sub-area VI (Mirage Flats Sub-area) decreased 2.30 feet or 27.6 inches.

Although pumping in our region put significant pressure on the ground water supply in 2012, the declines are in line with those in other densely irrigated regions of Nebraska. There is no plan to change management of ground water irrigation in UNWNRD for the 2013 irrigation season. The UNWNRD Water Sub-Committee of the Board is currently in the discussion phase for the subsequent allocation period of 2015-2018 for sub-areas IV and VI (Box Butte sub-area and Mirage Flats sub-area). A 10-15% reduction in allocation is being considered for those areas.

UNWNRD receives requests from landowners periodically for approval to modify field boundaries, transfer irrigated acres, install pivots or upgrade irrigation systems. Lynn Webster, UNWNRD assistant manager, coordinates the completion of these requests on paper with the individuals proposing to make changes and then develops maps to illustrate the outcome. The Board of Directors regularly reviews such requests, discusses the net impact to water use and decides whether the proposed changes are within what is currently allowed in UNWNRD Ground Water Rules and Regulations. Please refer to the map included for delineation of ground water management sub-areas. The majority of the UNWNRD (all shaded areas) are under controls restricting increased irrigated acres, the cross-hatched sub-areas are under allocation and new irrigation wells are not allowed district-wide.

Criteria for approval of modifications or transfers include:

• Does the intended change fall within the allowable distance for a transfer?

• Will there be an increase in the consumptive use of irrigation water?

Serving Box Butte, Dawes, Sheridan and Sioux Counties

430 East Second Street Chadron, Nebraska 69337

Phone 308.432.6190 www.unwnrd.org Fax 308.432.6187

Protecting Lives * Protecting Property * Protecting the Future

• Does the project result in a change in the number of certified irrigated acres?

Last modified onWednesday, 05 June 2013 12:13

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

back to top