Water Transfers & High Risk Groundwater Areas

Water Transfers & High Risk Groundwater Areas

A groundwater transfer is the act of pumping water from a well in one survey section of land and piping it to another survey section of land to irrigate. The NRD has had regulations limiting such transfers since 1982.

Newly adopted regulations in 2014, prohibit new groundwater irrigation transfers in the designated “High-Risk” Groundwater Area. The area that is now closed to new transfers is shown on the “High-Risk Groundwater Area” map. Existing groundwater transfers in the designated areas may continue, but may not increase irrigated acres.  

In areas outside the “High-Risk” groundwater area, existing regulations already limit the size and distance that groundwater may be transferred. Groundwater transfers must be authorized by the NRD Board of Directors prior to implementation.  

High-Risk Groundwater Areas

NRD regulations prohibit new groundwater irrigation transfers in the designated High-Risk Groundwater Area. The area that is closed to new transfers is shown on the High-Risk Groundwater Area map below. Existing groundwater transfers in the designated areas may continue, but may not increase irrigated acres. In areas outside the High-Risk Groundwater Area, existing regulations already limit the size and distance that groundwater may be transferred. Groundwater transfers must be authorized by the NRD Board of Directors prior to implementation.

No transfer of water into, out of, or within the High-Risk Groundwater Area.  

Well Spacing Rules:

  • Two miles from municipal wells.
  • 1,250 ft. from ALL high-capacity wells.
  • 1,250 ft. from domestic wells under different ownership.

Maximum of:

  • 1 well per 80 acres or less.
  • 2 wells per 160 acres or less.

High-Risk Groundwater Areas Map

Click the image to enlarge.