Lower Elkhorn NRD Tables Water Quality Resolution

Lower Elkhorn NRD Tables Water Quality Resolution


NORFOLK, Nebraska – Nebraska’s farmers are growing more with less water and fewer chemicals than ever before.  And yet, we still struggle with the quality of our water in some areas.

Nitrate levels in Nebraska’s groundwater are on the rise, especially in portions of northeast Nebraska.  The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) has analyzed the nitrate data gathered from their Groundwater Quality Sampling Program and have found some troubling trends across their 15-county district.

LENRD General Manger, Mike Sousek, said, “An evaluation of water quality data collected over the past 40 years reveals that nitrate concentrations are continuing to increase in some areas.  Most recently, the data indicates elevated concentrations of nitrate in portions of Cuming, Colfax, and Dodge Counties, reaching levels that could pose health risks to humans and threaten the environment.”

During their July meeting, the board discussed the proposed water quality resolution.  This resolution would serve as a statement of commitment from the board to follow when encountering tough issues, such as high nitrate levels in the groundwater.

The agriculture industry depends on clean water, healthy soil, and pure air to supply a growing world with food, feed, and fuel.  Farmers meet daily challenges as they work to protect our resources for future generations.

Sousek said, “We want to work together to make a positive impact on the health of our soils and the quality of our groundwater.  This resolution compliments our 12 responsibilities and shows that this board is supporting local control and supporting the protection of our natural resources as the NRDs have for the past 49 years.”

The board voted to table the resolution until next month.  The discussion will continue at the August 12th committee meeting and the August 26th board meeting.  Visit to learn more about high nitrate levels in our groundwater and what you can do to help.

To learn more about the 12 responsibilities of Nebraska’s NRDs and how your local district can work with you and your community to protect your natural resources, visit and sign up for our monthly emails.  The next board of directors meeting will be Thursday, August 26th at the LENRD office in Norfolk at 7:30 p.m. and on Facebook Live.