Tri-Basin NRD to Hold Groundwater Quality Hearing for Anderson Township

Tri-Basin NRD to Hold Groundwater Quality Hearing for Anderson Township



   Tri-Basin Natural Resources District (NRD) will hold a public hearing on changing Anderson Township in Phelps County (7N-17W) from Phase 1 Groundwater Quality Management to Phase 2. District directors voted Tuesday to hold the public hearing after reviewing groundwater quality data from the past few years in which nitrate levels in Anderson Township have continued to be above nine parts per million, which is the trigger point for moving an area from Phase 1 to Phase 2 according to Tri-Basin NRD’s Groundwater Management Area Rules. The hearing will be held in conjunction with the January 2019 Tri-Basin NRD board meeting, on Tuesday, January 8 at 1:30 p.m. at the Tri-Basin NRD Office in Holdrege.

   The district’s Groundwater Management Area Rules are the primary way in which district staff and directors protect the groundwater supply in Phelps, Gosper, and Kearney Counties. Through these rules, TBNRD has regulated fertilizer application to protect groundwater quality since 1989. District staff work cooperatively with farmers and agronomists to help improve the timeliness, efficiency, and effectiveness of fertilizer application. Staff also test nitrate levels in irrigation wells across the district annually. Overall, this has resulted in stable or declining nitrate-nitrogen levels in groundwater supplies throughout the district.

   “The general trend is a positive one: pretty flat,” explained Tri-Basin NRD Manager John Thorburn. “Our farmers have become more efficient irrigators and are applying fertilizer in a more timely manner.”


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