Landowners Can Click for Aquifer Data

Landowners Can Click for Aquifer Data


LINCOLN (NE) March 13, 2015 - Landowners in a 99-square-mile area surveyed by special equipment hanging from a helicopter 18 months ago near Dwight, Valparaiso and Brainard can now go online to learn about aquifers under their land. The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District contracted with Exploration Resources International (XRI), based in Mississippi, to conduct the high-tech survey in the fall of 2013 and results are now available. An interactive map has been linked to the NRD's website where a user can click on a location within the project area and see basic data about ground water under that specific location. All of the data collected in the survey, and an NRD staff summary are also available on the website or anyone interested can contact the NRD.

One of the best ways to view aquifer information for a particular location is to utilize the interactive map. Anyone can access the map if they have a version of Google Earth installed on their computer. A free version of the program is available online. By clicking inside the project area on the map, a viewer can learn the thickness of the aquifer at that point and how far down the aquifer is. A page has been built on the NRD website to help anyone interested access and understand the data. Look for the link at

The data collected in the survey goes far beyond the basic aquifer information available by using the online map. NRD Water Resources Specialist Dick Ehrman said, "The NRD is studying all of the data collected to better understand the complex geology of the project area." Last year the NRD Board of Directors made the area a Special Management Area and limited the amount of water irrigators can apply to crops through 2016. The measures were prompted by reports of water shortages during dry periods in the summers of 2012 and 2013. Ehrman said, "While it will take a while to digest all of the data from the electromagnetic survey, making the basic aquifer information available to landowners and the public now seems like a good, proactive beginning toward utilizing the survey to better manage available ground water."

In addition to electronic information online, the NRD has made the complete report from XRI available at libraries in and near the project area. The printed report is almost 600 pages and includes all of the data collected in the 2013 aerial survey. It is very technical in nature and includes a detailed Table of Contents and many aerial photos, charts and graphs. The complete report is available at the:
• Dwight Public Library, 120 North Second Street, open Wednesdays 3:30pm - 6:30pm and Saturdays 9:30am - 11:30am
• Valparaiso Public Library, 300 West Second Street, open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 3:00pm - 8:00pm, Thursdays 1:00pm - 8:00pm and Saturdays 9:00am - Noon
• East Butler Public Schools Library, 212 South Madison Street, in Brainard during school hours

Users of the online map will notice areas inside the three main project flight blocks where there is no data available. Katie Cameron, coordinator of the Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment, which helped coordinate the survey and of which the NRD is a partner, said "Federal regulations prohibit the survey equipment from being flown over buildings or towns." Cameron also said, in other cases where there is no aquifer data, power lines and other infrastructure and equipment apparently interfered with the survey, so that data was eliminated.