Central Platte NRD Spring Groundwater Levels Up

Central Platte NRD Spring Groundwater Levels Up


Central Platte NRD Spring Groundwater Levels Up

(GRAND ISLAND, NE) Groundwater levels show an average rise of 0.08 feet since 1982 in the Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD).  Shane Max, resources conservationist, reported the findings to the CPNRD’s board of directors meeting on Thursday.  CPNRD staff measured 453 wells this spring as part of the Ground Water Management Program.  Since 1982, the largest rise is 11.2 feet in Ground Water Management Area #5 (GWMA) in northern Frontier County; while the largest decline is 11.45 feet in GWMA #9 located in northern Dawson and Buffalo counties, reaching a new historical low. 

The 1982 groundwater levels were established as the standard for CPNRD’s Groundwater Management Plan with maximum acceptable declines and a margin of safety calculated for each GWMA.  The maximum level of decline ranges from 10 feet in the eastern end of the District to 30 feet in portions of the western end of the district.  As a proactive measure, a trigger was set that suspends supplemental wells and transfers into those areas that have reached a 25 percent decline.  Currently, five of the District’s 24 GWMAs are in the 25 percent decline suspension.  If the water table would fall to 50 percent of the maximum decline, Phase II would go into effect, triggering mandatory reductions in irrigated acres and spacing limits for new irrigation wells would be established. Map available at

-Public Hearing on Rules & Regs- The board took action to approve the proposed reorganization of the Rules and Regulations in the Fully and Over Appropriated Areas. 

-Dark Island Trail- The board approved a funding request in the amount of $5,000 by the PEER Group to help complete the Dark Island Hike & Bike Trail that runs from Central City to Marquette NE.

-Budget- The board took action to approve the Fiscal 2017 budget for the purpose of holding a public hearing.  The proposed tax request is down nearly $350,000.  The hearing is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. on July 28, 2016.

-Groundwater Exchange- The board approved a contract with National Economic Research Associates (NERA) and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NDNR) in the amount of $105,000 to design and manage a second Groundwater Exchange.  The second exchange will include the area of the Loup Basin influence.  The NDNR and CPNRD will each share 50 percent of the cost.

-Platte Basin Timelapse- The board approved a funding request in the amount of $2,000 towards the Timelapse: Monitoring Change Over Time project. The Nebraska Association of Resources District board approved partnering with Michael Forsberg and the NET to create STEM curricula, meeting Nebraska standards for schools.  Materials will be developed in consultation with teachers and curriculum designers, with input from ag subject matter experts and the Nebraska Department of Education.

-Appeal- The board denied an appeal from Buffalo County.

-Chemigation Violations-  The violation procedure was reviewed for chemigating without a permit.  The violation procedure requires CPNRD to first send written notice to violators to allow a chemigator to come into compliance.  If no compliance is achieved, CPNRD notifies the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and issues an order to suspend operation until a permit is obtained.  Once notice is provided to the violator, and regardless of whether voluntary compliance is achieved, CPNRD may alert the county attorney to initiate litigation.  Civil penalties include $1,000 per day per site where a violation has occurred; and between $1,000-$5,000 per day per site for any subsequent violations.

-Platte River Implementation Program- Mark Czaplewski, biologist, reported that the Platte River Implementation Program’s Governance Committee continues to try to re-negotiate the Water Service Agreement for the J2 Reservoir Project with Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District.  It was reported that little progress has been made due in part to difficulty in scheduling meetings of principals from the three states and federal governments.  The Governance Committee also began detailed discussions to extend the first Increment of the Program (which expires in 2019) have begun.  While milestones for land and adaptive management components have been met and exceeded, water goals have been tougher and more expensive to achieve.  Initial discussions included prioritizing resolution of channel choke point issues, additional habitat acquisitions, getting J2 Reservoir Project issues resolved, and investigating opportunities to support pallid sturgeon use of the lower Platte River (beginning with a workshop of species experts).  

Czaplewski also reported that the Governance Committee approved a contract with Central Platte NRD and Aqua Geo Frameworks LLC for aerial electromagnetic survey work.  The survey work includes additional coverage of flight lines to cover various project areas at a Program cost of $64,000. 

-Tree Program- Kelly Cole, programs coordinator, reported that 46,575 conservation tree seedlings were sold in 2016.  The NRD has sold over 3.6 million seedlings since 1973.  Cole also reported that 14 miles of weed barrier fabric was sold this year, with a total of 553 miles since 1991.

-Cost Share- The board approved three cost share payments for center pivot incentive in the amount of $17,598 and two for flow meters in the amount of $1,600 for a total of $19,198.





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  Marcia Lee
  Information/Education Specialist

  Central Platte Natural Resources District
  215 Kaufman Ave  Grand Island NE 68803
  Tel: (308) 385-6282

  Protecting Lives • Protecting Property • Protecting the Future