Lower Elkhorn NRD Approves Applications for new Irrigated Acres

Lower Elkhorn NRD Approves Applications for new Irrigated Acres


NORFOLK, Nebraska -- Landowners within the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) boundaries recently had an opportunity to apply for new irrigated acres. The LENRD board has the responsibility to develop, manage, and conserve our groundwater. Each year they look at ways to assist landowners in protecting the resource for their livelihood and that of future generations.

At their November meeting, the LENRD board voted to allow up to 292 acre-feet of new peak season streamflow depletions for the LENRD’s hydrologically connected (10/50 Area), which calculates to approximately 2,782.10 new groundwater irrigated acres. The board also voted to allow for the development of 2,542.15 new irrigated acres in the LENRD’s non-hydrologically connected (Non 10/50 Area). An approved variance from the district is required to expand groundwater irrigated acres either from an existing well, or a newly constructed well.

LENRD Assistant Manager, Brian Bruckner, said, “The variance applications are evaluated using the district’s scoring and ranking process which evaluates several factors, and provides a transparent process from which approvals are determined. The LENRD is committed to working with producers to expand acres while continuing to protect our groundwater for the future.”

Staff will be contacting the landowners in writing, for both approved and non-approved applications. After the landowners have been properly notified, the approved list will be made available by submitting a public records request to the district.

In other action, the board approved 8 Community Forestry Incentive Program applications for a total cost of $31,795.13. The communities receiving grants to remove and plant trees this year are Beemer, Norfolk, Oakland, Randolph, Wausa, West Point, West Point Schools, and Wisner.

LENRD Natural Resources Conservation Technician, Todd Stewart, said, “If you need trees for your community, your acreage, or your backyard, give me a call, I’d be happy to come out and help design your project.”  Conservation tree order forms are now available at the LENRD office, your local NRCS office, and online at

The LENRD board & staff meet each month to develop and implement programs to protect our natural resources. The next LENRD board meeting will be Tuesday, December 21st at 7:30 p.m. Watch for further updates and stay connected with the LENRD by subscribing to their monthly emails.