NDNR requires all irrigation wells to be registered. Is your well properly registered?

Wells Registered Pic
August 24, 2021

All irrigation wells must be registered with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NDNR). It is important wells be registered correctly to ensure that they are not determined to be an illegal well. An illegal well is one that has not been registered or is registered inaccurately with NDNR.  


Enactment of LB962 in 2004 found all or portions of nine natural resources districts to be “fully appropriated” and subject to provisions of that bill which includes stays on the construction of new wells and stays on the use of unregistered wells. Whenever a basin is declared “over appropriated” or “fully appropriated” there will be immediate stays on new uses of groundwater and surface water. Only wells that are properly registered will be eligible for irrigation usage. All other wells will be considered illegal wells. 


The Lewis and Clark Natural Resources District has not been declared “over or fully appropriated” however it is essential for well owners to have their wells registered with the state if the District were ever to receive the designation.  


Unregistered wells can also result in spacing violations in relationship to other wells impacting water resources. Well registration information is used to determine if new wells can be legally constructed. New wells must be located at least 600 feet from other irrigation wells and 1,000 feet from industrial or public supply wells. Checking your registration now may prevent a dispute in the future.


Anyone with an irrigation well on their property is encouraged to verify it is properly registered. To register a well or confirm proper registration you need the legal description where the well is located, the acres irrigated by the well, and current ownership of the well.  Registration information can be viewed on the NDNR website https://nednr.nebraska.gov/Dynamic/Wells/Wells  or contact NDNR at 402-471-2363.  The Lewis and Clark Natural Resources District can also assist with checking registration information.  There are no fees applied to modifying existing well registration information and the modification form is available on the NDNR web site. 


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