Water Quantity

Quantity Rules and Regulations

The Lewis and Clark NRD Board of Directors adopted rules and regulations and an appendix to the existing Groundwater management plan in order to better protect groundwater quantity across the LCNRD.

 

Increased irrigation development, potential for groundwater use, and drought risk prompted development of the rules and regulations to monitor, enhance, and protect the groundwater resource. The rules became effective August 14, 2014.

 

Some changes required by adoption of the rules include:

  • Well permits for new and replacement wells pumping greater than 50 gallons a minute.
  • Expanding irrigation to previously unirrigated acres requires a permit.
  • Flow meters and annual groundwater use reports are required on all new high capacity wells.
  • Best Management Practices (BMP’s) are encouraged to conserve and protect groundwater resources.
  • Triggers are established which would bring about additional regulation in the case of prolonged groundwater declines.
  • Other requirements are detailed in the Rules and Regulations. Contact LCNRD with questions.   

 

Review the complete Groundwater Quantity Rules and Regulations for LCNRD.

 

Review the appendix to the LCNRD Groundwater Rules and Regulations.


Integrated Management Plan (IMP)

On July 28, 2016 the Lewis & Clark Natural Resources District (LCNRD) Board of Directors approved adoption of an Integrated Water Management Plan (IMP) developed to protect groundwater and surface water quantity for the parts of Dixon, Cedar and Knox Counties in the Lewis & Clark NRD. The IMP is available for on-line viewing or at the office of the Lewis & Clark NRD in Hartington.

 

The overarching purpose of this IMP is to provide a framework for joint management of groundwater and surface water resources to ensure the long term availability of both resources, so that existing users are protected.


Water Levels

Spring 2017 Well Measuring Results

The purpose of the well monitoring by the Lewis and Clark NRD is to record the groundwater levels and their fluctuations in wells throughout the district. The LCNRD monitors trends in water level data in order to be prepared in times of sustained decline.

 

Each year a total of 30 irrigation wells are measured semi-annually at selected locations across the LCNRD.

 

The static water levels of 30 irrigation wells located throughout the Lewis & Clark Natural Resources District are measured in the spring and fall each year. Groundwater levels measured this spring indicate that the levels have been increasing in about half of the wells monitored each year since experiencing the drought of 2012.   The spring 2017 average groundwater readings were 2.4 feet higher than the average spring readings from 2016 and the average is near the average water levels from the spring of 2012. Of the 31 wells measured, 14 showed higher groundwater levels than in the spring of 2017. Sixteen of the measured wells were on average 1.02 feet lower the spring of 2016.

 

Read 2017 water level summery


Well Permits & Expanded Irrigated Acre Permits

 

The LCNRD requires all new irrigation wells that pump 50 gallons or more a minute to go through a permitting process as of August 1st, 2014.

 

Well Permits are required on all new irrigation wells except for:

  • Test holes or dewatering wells (used 90 days or less)
  • Wells pumping 50 gpm or less
  • New Permit fee is $50—Late filing fee is $250 (both are non-refundable)

Expanding Irrigated Permit

  • Required anytime applying irrigation water to acres that have not been previously irrigated.
  • Expansion Permit fee is $50—Late filing fee is $250 (both are non-refundable)

Flow Meter Cost-Share

A flow meter must be installed on all new wells pumping >50gpm. Cost-share is available through the NRCS or the LCNRD for flow meters. Flow meters will assist the LCNRD effectively monitor groundwater use in the LCNRD.

  • Cost-sharing is available through the LCNRD if it is newly irrigated acres and cost-sharing is available through NRCS if there is irrigated history on the acres. Applications can be filled out either at the NRD or the NRCS offices.

 

Center Pivot over corn

 

Groundwater Management Plan (GWMP)

To guide groundwater management, the LCNRD adopted a Groundwater Management Plan (the Plan) in 1986. The Plan was updated in 1995 and amended in 2014. The Plan provides the basis for groundwater management in the LCNRD.

 

If you would like to review the Groundwater Management Plans and updates they are available here.

 

Irrigation Pivot

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