Lower Elkhorn NRD New Irrigated Acres Sign Up Begins Oct. 1

Lower Elkhorn NRD New Irrigated Acres Sign Up Begins Oct. 1


NORFOLK, Nebraska – Landowners within the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) boundaries, will have an opportunity to apply for new irrigated acres in some portions of the district this fall.

The LENRD board voted, at their August meeting, to allow up to 295 acre-feet of new stream water depletions for new groundwater irrigation development in the Hydrologically Connected or 10/50 Area. This is in accordance with their Voluntary Integrated Management Plan. They also voted to allow up to 2,500 acres of new groundwater irrigation development in the Non-Hydrologically Connected or Non 10/50 Area under the district’s standard variance process.  An approved variance is a requirement for any expansion of irrigated acres in the LENRD, whether from an existing or new irrigation well.

Geographic portions of the district that are eligible to be considered for standard variances are areas that fall within the top three categories of the classification map. A map of the eligible locations will be available at the LENRD office in Norfolk by Friday, Sept. 4. Excluded from consideration for this sign-up period will be any parcel of land located in any Quantity Management Subarea or Phase 3 Area located within the LENRD.

LENRD Assistant Manager, Brian Bruckner, said, “The board also approved the scoring sheets used by staff when processing applications and reauthorized use of the Conditions for Approval policy. In addition, a minimum soil score of 85 must be met for any standard variance to be considered for approval.”

The board established a sign-up period to receive applications for Standard Variances between October 1st, 2020 and Oct. 31, 2020. Contact the LENRD for more information or visit: Application forms will be available online and at the LENRD office beginning October 1st.