Tri-Basin Natural Resources District Approves Changes to Groundwater Management Rules

Tri-Basin Natural Resources District Approves Changes to Groundwater Management Rules


Tri-Basin Natural Resources District's (NRD) directors approved proposed changes to the district's rules at their April board meeting, following a public hearing on the revisions. Some of the changes implemented include allowing pooling of groundwater irrigation allocations in Phase 3 Groundwater Quantity Management Areas of the district and changing the penalty for using more groundwater irrigation than allocated in Phase 3 areas from two inches for each inch used over the allocation to 1.5 inches for each inch used over the allocation. Several landowners from the district's Phase 3 area attended the hearing and asked questions about the rules changes.

Dale Sclautman and Brandi Flyr of EA Engineering met with directors to discuss the possibility of compiling the district's existing data and collecting additional data to produce a hydrogeologic/hydrologic data assessment of the district. The project would compile and map data specific to Tri-Basin NRD, and would include maps such as groundwater surface, aquifer thickness, base of aquifer and groundwater level changes. This data could be useful to the district in planning future projects and efficiently managing and protecting groundwater resources.

Directors scheduled a public hearing on negotiating land rights on an additional property which would be affected by the district's proposed Sand Creek groundwater recharge reservoir project. This project involves constructing a reservoir on Sand Creek in eastern Kearney County for the purpose of storing water and allowing it to seep into the aquifer, recharging groundwater supplies in the area. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tri-Basin NRD office, 1723 Burlington Street in Holdrege, in conjunction with the board's regular monthly meeting.

In other business, directors approved the purchase of a shredder from Titan Machinery of Holdrege for the NRD tractor, which will be used to maintain the district's Improvement Project Areas (IPAs) in order to provide drainage in areas of high water tables or runoff, which improves productivity of land that benefits from these projects. Additionally, they approved the trade-in of a district pickup for a Dodge pickup from Black Motor Company of Holdrege.

Tri-Basin NRD's board also:
• Approved 11 Farm Service Agency plans for highly erodible land and applications for one groundwater transfer, five irrigated acre transfers, and two requests for variances of Tri-Basin NRD rules on irrigation wells.
• Approved applications for well decommissioning cost-share funds totaling $4,500 and cost-share funds for planned grazing, irrigation water management, windbreaks, and pasture planting totaling $51,123.91. They approved one Nebraska Bufferstrip Program contract.
Tri-Basin NRD's next Board of Directors meeting will be Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tri-Basin NRD office at 1723 Burlington Street in Holdrege, NE.