Upper Big Blue NRD Board Approves Changes To Temporary Stay on Well-Drilling

Upper Big Blue NRD Board Approves Changes To Temporary Stay on Well-Drilling



Scott Snell, Public Relations

105 N. Lincoln Avenue

York, NE 68467



The Upper Big Blue NRD Board of Directors approved the motion to enact changes to the District’s Rule 5 in relation to the temporary 180-day stay in well drilling in sub-areas. The stay was used as a "time-out" to assess water availability regarding the Villages of Dwight and Brainard. The two villages expressed concern over the future viability of their water supply and the impact that surrounding irrigation wells have on their municipal wells’ ability to pump water for citizens. Municipal concerns, along with drought conditions experienced during 2012 and 2013, prompted the temporary stay. The stay will be lifted in October.

By statute, NRDs have the authority to put an immediate temporary stay on well drilling. During the 180-day stay, the NRD board and staff members reviewed data in the sub-areas, further researched possible solutions and alternatives to alleviate concerns within these areas, and developed a common-sense regulatory approach to help mitigate current and future issues regarding water quantity and quality in the affected areas of the District.

New Rules for High Risk Groundwater Area ( See attached map )

The new rules adopted by the Board for the High Risk Groundwater Area include the following: New high capacity wells (wells that pump more than 50 gpm) must be at least 1,250 feet from existing high capacity wells, including wells with the same ownership. New high capacity wells must be at least 1,250 feet from existing domestic wells under different ownership. New high capacity wells must be at least two miles from existing municipal wells. No more than one high capacity well may exist on a tract of land consisting of eighty acres or less, with no more than two wells per one-hundred sixty acres. Existing wells may be replaced. Municipal Users shall have adopted an administrative procedure that allows the Municipal User to require water conservation practices and restrict the water use of its customers. New or replacement domestic water wells shall be constructed to such a depth that they are less likely to be affected by seasonal water level declines caused by other water wells in the same area. Regulations for the remainder of the District were not changed.

In Other News The Upper Big Blue NRD Board passed the motion to "Prioritize Ayars & Ayars, Inc., (Lincoln), as the first design-build firm to negotiate with for a contract for the design, schedule and cost of the new NRD headquarters facilities; and further to negotiate with JLC Inc., (York), and Schemmer Associates, Inc., (Omaha), if negotiations with Ayars & Ayars are unsuccessful." The Upper Big Blue NRD has purchased land north of the York County Fairgrounds for the site of building the new office and maintenance buildings. As far as building design, cost, and construction schedules, these are all yet to be conceptualized and discussed further by the Board.

August 22, 2014

Upper Big Blue NRD Board Approved Rules Changes

Regarding Temporary Stay on Well Drilling

If you would like information on any of the services that the Upper Big Blue NRD provides, or have any questions please feel free to contact Scott Snell.

Nebraska’s NRDs:

Protecting Lives,

Protecting Property,

Protecting the Future.