- Groundwater Management | Rules and Regulations
- Water Banking Program
- Flood Control Projects
- Certified Acres: Map | Check Your Irrigated Acres
- Nitrates: Levels in District Map | Levels from 1962-2010 Graph
- Change in Groundwater Levels: 2012 Spring to Fall Map
2010-2011 | 2009-2010
- COHYST: Update | Website | Contact: Duane Woodward
- Conjunctive Management Study/Central Platte Valley Website
- Platte River Recovery Implementation Program Update | Website | Economic Impact Summary
- Platte Basin Habitat Enhancement Project Update|Website
- Nebraska Habitat Conservation Coalition Update
- Nebraska Department of Natural Resources Fully Appropriated Study
December 2012 Update to Board:
Jim Bendfeldt, director and Variance Committee Chair, reported that there is more groundwater in storage in 2012 than in 1982. Despite reoccurring drought conditions since 2000, groundwater levels still remain above the levels that would trigger regulations across the Central Platte NRD.
He said the District has had a Groundwater Management Program in place since 1985 that calls for a percentage of the irrigated lands in any of the 24 Groundwater Management Areas (GMA) to be taken out of irrigation production if groundwater levels approach a level that the Board has established as a “maximum acceptable decline”. The maximum acceptable decline is a level that would still allow the aquifer life to be sustained, while at the same time minimizing adverse economic impacts to individual water users. The base year for measuring water tables and determining the maximum acceptable declines to be allowed, is the water levels in the spring of 1982. Spring readings are the most important levels, as they are the ones used to trigger any management controls.
District-wide there was more groundwater in storage in the spring of 2012 than there was in the spring of 1982, the base year. That is in spite of an additional 250,000 acres of groundwater irrigation being developed between 1982 and 2004, the year the District and the Department of Natural Resources placed a freeze on new irrigated acres and new wells. New farming techniques and practices that conserve water and reduce consumption, like minimum tillage and a switch from high pressure to low pressure sprinkler systems, are credited with the water savings that make the aquifer report so positive despite severe drought conditions.
Of the 24 GMAs across the CPNRD, 15 have water levels higher by an average of 5.0 feet, than the 1982 levels. Nine are lower by an average of 3 feet and only two are on the “monitor closely” list, in northern Merrick and southern Nance counties that generally have a shallower aquifer and reduced production in their wells as irrigation season progresses, (especially during dry conditions) making any long-term declines cause for concern and thus the “monitor closely” status. Bendfeldt said spring water table measurements are taken in April & May, so everyone is hoping those ‘April showers’ are large enough to soak up the ground and “give us some good recharge.”
-Groundwater Levels- Shane Max, resources conservationist, also distributed maps that provided comparisons from Spring 2012 to Fall 2012 levels to show the effects of the severe drought. The Eastern third of the NRD saw declines of 5.9 feet, the Central part saw declines of 5.71 feet, and the Western part saw declines of 6.07 feet. Max said that all of these are greater than the normal differences for Spring to Fall readings, reflecting the severity of this year’s the current drought conditions.
-Irrigation Violations- Bendfeldt also reported that GIS image analyst, Luke Zakrzewski, found 204 violations totaling 1,032 acres throughout the District; with 70% of those being less than five acres. Most of the violations are acres that need to be certified.
May 2011 Update to Board: HDR Engineering was hired to do this Study to outline options on how to determine if Districts are fully appropriated and how to improve the current process. In a recent meeting, HDR met with stakeholders to give them an interim report on possible recommendations, including how to determine a base for required stream flows. Once the process has been outlined by HDR, then it will first be applied to the Platte River to determine where the fully appropriated and over appropriated areas are in the District. The CPNRD and DNR are sponsoring the study.
April 2011 Update to Board: Current projects funded by NET projects are for COHYST and the USGS MRS aquifer properties. The COHYST funding is helping to update the groundwater models for the Central and Eastern Model units with new river package and geology layer package information, plus new pumpage and recharge data from CROPSIM updates. The MRS project is nearing completion and USGS reports should be published this fall.