UNWNRD Board Deliberates, Welcomes Solutions Concerning Ground Water Management Rules

During a regularly scheduled Board meeting held on April 8, the Upper Niobrara White Natural Resources District (UNWNRD) Board heard comments from local irrigators and elected to schedule a second Advisory Committee Meeting before implementing changes to its Ground Water Management Area (GWMA) Rules and Regulations. The purpose of the Rules and Regulations is to protect the longevity of the ground water supply for all users.

The proposed amendments addressed reducing the ground water allocation for 2015-2019 in sub-areas four and six as well as introducing initial allocations for the rest of the District. Transfers of water use will still be allowed within three adjacent sections from the parcel where the majority of the irrigated acres are located, provided it is within the same ground water management sub-area. Currently in allocated sub-areas 4 and 6, carryover of ground water allocation is allowed up to 27 acre-inches or 50% of the current four year allocation. Any excess will remain in the aquifer to sustain the water supply.

The intent of proposed pumping limitations is to protect ground and surface water supplies for all existing water users to be consistent with the District’s Ground Water Management and Integrated Management Plans. Prior to the April 8 Board Meeting, recommendations and proposed changes were discussed during several water sub-committee meetings, several regular Board meetings, an Advisory Committee meeting and two information sessions on February 11 (Hemingford and Rushville). The Board also received testimony during a Public Hearing on March 3. The 11 member locally elected UNWNRD Board is weighing options, considering solutions and will make a decision in the near future.

Individuals with practical solutions pertaining to ground water management in Box Butte, Dawes, Sheridan and the Northern 80% of Sioux counties are encouraged to attend an Advisory Committee Meeting at 1:00 p.m. on April 30, 2014 at the Panhandle Event Center in Chadron.

Additional information can be found online at www.unwnrd.org or by calling your local NRD at 308.432.6190.

1 comment

  • Adam Brewer
    Adam Brewer Friday, 11 April 2014 17:20 Comment Link

    I I have a question for Journalist Janet SKINNER

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