Certifying Irrigated Acres
In 1990, the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District Board of Directors set a goal of holding our district’s water levels to the average level measured in 1978. The board set two “trigger” points to ensure they could meet that goal, which applies to all wells located within the district’s Groundwater Management Area #1. The management area includes almost the entire district, except a very small portion of Fillmore County and a portion of eastern Seward County.
The first trigger point was set at three feet above the 1978 average water levels of our district. This trigger point was reached in 2007 and initiated a reporting phase that requires land owners to certify the number of acres being irrigated and to make annual reports on the amount of water pumped from the wells. This phase will remain in effect even if water levels rise.
If the average water level in our district drops below the 1978 level, which is the second trigger point set by the board, we would move into an allocation phase. The water allocation each landowner receives will be based on how many certified acres are being irrigated by wells located within our district. It should be noted that unless the property is in a fully appropriated area, you can continue to develop additional acres during the allocation phase.
Each spring we mail certification forms to each land owner, or their representative, for review. The forms do not need to be returned unless there are changes or corrections. Because changes happen throughout the year, there is no deadline for submitting corrected forms to our office.