Lower Platte North NRD
December 02, 2015 5:00 PM
Water Committee Meeting
1. REGULATORY
1.a. GROUND WATER MANAGEMENT AREA
1.a.1. Variance Request in the Hydrologically Connected Area (Limited Development Area)
Rationale

No new updates.

1.a.2. Variance Requests in the Non-Hydrologically Connected Area (Normal Development Area)
Rationale

No new updates.

1.a.3. Variance Requests in the Restricted Development Areas
Rationale

No new updates.

1.a.4. Well Permit Program
1.a.4.A. Well Permits Approved
Rationale

The district received 5 well permit applications for approved new well variances from the Hydrologically Connected area.  The deadline for these permits is January 10th 2016.  The University well is really a remediation well for the Corps of Engineers and the clean up efforts at the Former Ordnance Plant.

Wells Permits Approved: #

 Landowner Number of Wells  Number of New Irrigated Acres  Type of Well  County  Subarea 
University of Nebraska  Remediation  Saunders  Todd Valley 
Debi Gorley 1 65 Irrigation Saunders Todd Valley 
Raymond Hemmer  127  Irrigation  Platte  Lower Newman Grove 
Dean Hallgren  151  Irrigation  Platte  Newman Grove 
Larry Kurtenbach  135  Irrigation  Madison  Upper Newman Grove 
James L Mick  78.5  Irrigation  Butler  Bellwood 








 

 

 

 

The total number of approved permits for 2015 is 43
Location of Approved Well Permits for 2015:  Correct as of 12/2/2015

County Irrigation - New Irrigation - Replacement Stock Commercial Municipal Other Total
Butler 2 2 1 0 0 0 5
Colfax 1 3 1 0 0 0 5
Dodge 3 3 0 0 0 0 6
Boone 1 2 0 0 0 0 3
Madison 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Platte 6 2 1 0 0 0 9
Saunders 6 3 0 1 0 4 14
Total 20 15 3 1 0 4 43









1.a.4.B. AM JJ Investments LLC Supplemental Well Request
Rationale

AM JJ Investments LLC has submitted a well permit application for a new supplemental well in the SE 1/4 SE 1/4 of Section 1-T17N-R3E Colfax County, Schuyler Subarea. The 68 acre field is currently gravity irrigated from well G-057647. They will be converting to pivot irrigation and will have two center pivots due to the odd size of the field. and instead of burying pipe, they would like to drill a new well so each pivot has its own well. The new well will irrigate 20 of the 68 certified irrigated acres.

Attachments
Recommended Motion

*To approve the supplemental well for 20 acres for AM JJ Investments in the SE 1/4 of SE 1/4 of Section 1, T17N, R3E, Colfax County, Schuyler Subarea

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  To approve the supplemental well for 20 acres for AM JJ Investments in the SE 1/4 of SE 1/4 of Section 1, T17N, R3E, Colfax County, Schuyler Subarea passed with a motion by Joe Birkel and a second by Mr. Robert Meduna.

1.a.4.C. Dean Novak Supplemental Well
Rationale

Dean Novak has submitted an application for a new supplemental well in the SW 1/4 NW 1/4 of Section 9-T17N-R4E, Colfax County, Schuyler Subarea. The well will irrigate 44 certified irrigated acres previously irrigated by well G-063688 (located in the NW 1/4 SW 1/4 of the same section). The land was recently purchased, and Mr. Novak would like his own well on the property.

Attachments
Recommended Motion

*To approve a new supplemental well for 44 acres for Dean Novak in the SW 1/4 of the NW 1/4, Section 9, T17N, R4E, Colfax County, Schuyler Subarea

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  To approve a new supplemental well for 44 acres for Dean Novak in the SW 1/4 of the NW 1/4, Section 9, T17N, R4E, Colfax County, Schuyler Subarea passed with a motion by Robert Hilger and a second by Mr. Robert Meduna.

1.a.5. Ron Slady Transfer Request
Rationale

Ronald Sladky has requested a transfer of 80 certified irrigated acres. The certified irrigated acres to be transferred are located in the following sections*:

-24.7 Acres in the NW 1/4 SW 1/4; and NW 1/4 of Section 15-T14N-R7E Saunders County, Weston Subarea

-32.9 Acres in the NW 1/4 NE 1/4 of Section 15-T14N-R7E Saunders County, Todd Valley Subarea

-22.4 Acres in the NW 1/4 NW 1/4 of Section 14-T14N-R7E Saunders County, Todd Valley Subarea (surface water)

*-Rose Colored on map

 

The 80 acres will be transferred to two fields in the following legal description**:

-22.1 Acres in the SW 1/4 NE 1/4 of Section 15-T14N-R7E Saunders County, Swedeburg Subarea

-57.9 Acres in the W 1/2 SE 1/4 of Section 15-T14N-R7E Saunders County, Swedeburg Subarea

**-Green Colored in map

 

The well that will be used (G-051467) is in the SE 1/4 NW 1/4 of Section 15-T14N-R7E Saunders County, Weston Subarea. The attached map shows the location of the above listed legal descriptions.

Attachments
Recommended Motion

To approve the transfer of 80 irrigated acres for Ronald Sladky from:
-24.7 Acres in the NW 1/4 of the SW 1/4; and NW 1/4 of Section 15, T14N, R7E, Saunders County, Weston Subarea
-32.9 Acres in the NW 1/4 of the NE 1/4, Section 15, T14N, R7E, Saunders County, Todd Valley Subarea
-22.4 Acres in the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 Section 14, T14N, R7E, Saunders County, Todd Valley Subarea (surface water permit)

to 80 acres in two fields:
-22.1 Acres in the SW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 15, T14N, R7E, Saunders County, Swedeburg Subarea
-57.9 Acres in the W 1/2 of the SE 1/4, Section 15, T14N, R7E, Saunders County, Swedeburg Subarea,
as shown in the Water Committee minutes

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  To approve the transfer of 80 irrigated acres for Ronald Sladky from: -24.7 Acres in the NW 1/4 of the SW 1/4; and NW 1/4 of Section 15, T14N, R7E, Saunders County, Weston Subarea -32.9 Acres in the NW 1/4 of the NE 1/4, Section 15, T14N, R7E, Saunders County, Todd Valley Subarea -22.4 Acres in the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 Section 14, T14N, R7E, Saunders County, Todd Valley Subarea (surface water permit) to 80 acres in two fields: -22.1 Acres in the SW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 15, T14N, R7E, Saunders County, Swedeburg Subarea -57.9 Acres in the W 1/2 of the SE 1/4, Section 15, T14N, R7E, Saunders County, Swedeburg Subarea passed with a motion by Joe Birkel and a second by Robert Hilger.

1.a.6. Special Quantity Subareas
1.a.6.A. LPNNRD SQS Operator Certification Classes
Rationale

SQS #1  (Butler-Saunders)

All 30 of the irrigation well sites have been visited by staff and a water level was measured in 28 of these wells.  25 of these sites have a flow meter; the other five wells were not used in 2015.

 

SQS #2 (Platte-Colfax)

Three informational classes have been set.  Each of these classes will be held at Ag Park, Columbus:

  1. Thursday, January 14, 2016, at 10:00 a.m.  (prior to afternoon certification class)
  2. Thursday, February 11, 2016, at 1:30 p.m.
  3. Tuesday, March 29, 2016, at 3:00 p.m.  (prior to evening certification class)

Attendance by SQS #2 producers is required.

 

1.a.6.B. Flow Meter Maintenance Program
Rationale

Several representatives from area companies have been asked to attend the Water Committee to describe their program on flow meter maintenance.

LPNNRD staff feel that we could do this internally at a comparable cost, since our District's primary focus will be on compliance of water allocations, not just maintenance.

Doug Jensen and Jim Panek from McCrometer Great Plains; Mark Vanosdall from Tri-City meters; and Tyler Mensik from an irrigation equipment dealership were in attendance.  Questions were directly to Tri-City Meters and McCrometer representatives.

The Water Committee will look at this further before requesting bids.  Currently only the 30 meters in the Butler - Saunders SQS would be inline for any maintenance program.

--------------------------------------------------------- 

Discussion then moved to allowing the use of mag-meters as part of the District Approved Flow Meters.  In 2014 when flow meters were first reviewed, little information was available on mag-meters.

Recommended Motion

*To revisit the question of adding mag-meters to the 'LPNNRD Approved List of Flow Meters'

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  It was recommended to revisit the question of adding mag-meters to the 'LPNNRD Approved List of Flow Meters' passed with a motion by Mr. Robert Meduna and a second by Joe Birkel.

1.a.7. Lower Platte River Basin Water Management Plan Coalition (LPRBC)
Rationale

The last Water Banking meeting for the LPRBC was held at the Community College in Columbus NE on Tuesday November 17, 2015.  

  • The board for ULNRD does not agree with the 'a Basin Plan' telling them how to develop excess water.
  • The accounting for the Loup Hydropower is a concern to both the Loup and Platte sub-basins.  One sub-basin would benefit, while the other sub-basin will just be that much closer to being declared 'Fully Appropriated'. 
  • Hesitation on whether or not the 'a Basin Plan' should recommend a 5 year cap on further development. The Lower Loup and Lower Elkhorn NRD's have not issued new irrigated acres for the past several years.

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The next technical committee meeting for the LPRBC is scheduled for Ord at the LLNRD on December 9, 2015.

 

1.a.8. Voluntary Integrated Water Management Plan - LENRD and LPNNRD
Rationale

We have received two invoices from Olsson Associates for services rendered on our V-IMP.  The first invoice is for a total of $4,502.03 and the second invoice is for $491.39 for a total of $4,993.42.

There is $22,527.48 left on this contract from the original amount of $174,700.

Attachments
1.a.9. Cost Share Programs
1.a.9.A. Irrigation Well Sample Kits
Rationale

A total of 325 kits have been mailed out, while just one kit remains outstanding (Mark Horejsi).  Another producer called on December 2nd for a sample kit.  The results for 320 samples have been received and mailed to producers.

 

1.a.10. Bellwood Phase 2 Area
Rationale

 

2015 is the thirteenth year for this Phase 2 Area.  Earlier this year this area was reduced from 32 sections to 21 sections - to be in compliance with Section G Ground Water Quality Management Area - Phase Two Rule 1 Phase Two Criteria.

 

Year

Nitrate-nitrogen Range

Percent

Nitrate-nitrogen

0 to 8.0 ppm

Percent

Nitrate-nitrogen

8.01 to 10.00 ppm

Percent

Nitrate-nitrogen

greater than 10 ppm

2004

0 to 25 ppm

46.3% (44 of 95)

8.4% (8 of 95)

45.3% (43 of 95)

2005

0 to 25 ppm

47% (44 of 94)

15% (14 of 94)

38% (36 of 94)

2006

0 to 24 ppm

41% (29 of 71)

14% (10 of 71)

45% (32 of 71)

2007

0 to 31 ppm

48% (48 of 100)

9% (9 of 100)

43% (43 of 100)

2008

0 to 28 ppm

53.75% (43 of 80)

7.5% (6 of 80)

38.75% (31 of 80)

2009

0 to 22 ppm

45.5% (41 of 90)

15.5% (14 of 90)

39% (35 of 90)

2010

0 to 35.7 ppm

48.65% (54 of 111)

11.71% (13 of 111)

39.64% (44 of 111)

2011

0 to 26.6 ppm

51% (56 of 110)

6% (7 of 110)

43% (47 of 110)

2012

0 to 28.9 ppm

57% (61 of 107)

9% (10 of 107)

34% (36 of 107)

2013

0 to 25.8 ppm

50% (53 of 107)

9% (10 of 107)

41% (44 of 107)

2014

0 to 22.3 ppm

51% (55 of 108)

13% (14 of 108)

36% (39 of 108)

2015

0 to 32.3 ppm

43.5% (30 of 69)

7.2% (5 of 69)

49.3% (34 of 69)

 

1.a.11. Richland - Schuyler Phase 2 Area
Rationale

2015 is the twelfth year of this Phase 2 Area.  The 55 sections of this area went into a Phase 3 Area to be in compliance with Section H Ground Water Quality Management Area - Phase Three Rule 1 Phase Three Criteria, effective September 1, 2015.  

 

Year

Nitrate-nitrogen Range

Percent

Nitrate-nitrogen

0 to 8.0 ppm

Percent

Nitrate-nitrogen

8.01 to 10.00 ppm

Percent

Nitrate-nitrogen

greater than 10 ppm

2004

0 to 47 ppm

30% (42 of 139)

10% (14 of 139)

60% (83 of 139)

2005

0 to 120 ppm

31.3% (74 of 236)

10.2% (24 of 236)

58.5% (138 of 236)

2006

0 to 53 ppm

28% (50 of 181)

14% (26 of 181)

58% (105 of 181)

2007

0 to 99 ppm

32% (75 of 231)

10% (22 of 231)

58% (134 of 227)

2008

0 to 46 ppm

28% (53 of 190)

12% (23 of 190)

60% (114 of 190)

2009

0 to 57 ppm

33% (72 of 216)

6% (13 of 216)

61% (131 of 216)

2010

0 to 57.5 ppm

31% (70 of 229)

7% (15 of 229)

62% (142 of 229)

2011

0 to 65.8 ppm

28% (67 of 241)

9% (21 of 241)

63% (153 of 241)

2012

0 to 52.6 ppm

29% (70 of 241)

9% (21 of 241)

62% (150 of 241)

2013

0 to 94.0 ppm

25% (63 of 252)

9% (23 of 252)

66% (166 of 252)

2014

0 to 101.0 ppm

27% (68 of 251)

9% (22 of 251)

64% (161 of 251)

2015

0 to 53.3 ppm

22.31% (52 of 233)

12.45% (29 of 233)

65.24% (152 of 233)

Also on September 1, 2015, the ten sections immediately north of this area became a Phase 2 Area.  These sections are:  Township 18 North, Range 2 East, sections 31 to 36; Township 18 North, Range 3 East, sections 31 to 34.  Though reports for the 2015 crop year aren’t required these producers will need to have soil samples prior to their 2016 corn crop.  The six water samples collected in November were from this new Phase 2 area.


1.a.12. LPNNRD Certification
1.a.12.A. LPNNRD Operator Certification Classes
Rationale

 Three on-line test requests were received in November.  One of these has completed the test and a certification card was sent.

 

 Cert. Number Cert. Date  Name  Re-Cert.  Comments 
 6527 11/10/15  Marian Meduna  No  First-timer 
         

 

 

 

 

Staff met with UNL County Extension Educators on November 23rd to work out the class schedule for 2016.  Michael Rethwisch, UNL Extension Educator for Butler County, has health issues and will be likely unable to help with classes in 2016.  The number of producers to certify in 2016 will be approximately 300. 

[class schedule is attachment]

Attachments
1.a.12.B. LPNNRD Acre Certification
Rationale

Landowner Brach Johnson wants clarification on 'No action taken' at the last Board meeting on November 9th on his request for getting his property of 32.8 acres in the NW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 7, T18N, R2E Colfax County, to be listed as certified irrigated acres (please see attached document).  This is in the Platte - Colfax SQS subarea.  

The acres in question were granted irrigation permission in 2010 (at the time this area was open to additional irrigated acres).  The land was and remains in CRP.  The acres were originally certified along with the adjoining 120 acres (to complete the circle), however no crop was ever planted and the tract was never irrigated.  Since the land was not irrigated within two years of approval the acres were de-certified. Since this tract is in the SQS we would leave ourselves open to criticism (and potential legal action) if we would allow this tract to be irrigated when it has no irrigated history.  Jovan Lausterer agrees that we should not allow this tract to be irrigated and related similar circumstances in the Lower Elkhorn NRD where the district court upheld that LENRD's identical definition was legal and appropriate.

Mr. Johnson is requesting a formal vote from the Board on whether this ground is listed as certified irrigated acres or not.

 

Attachments
Recommended Motion

Since the land in the NW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 7, T18N, R2E, Colfax County (owned by Brach Johnson) has never been irrigated, the request to list this property as certified irrigated acres is denied

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  Since the land in the NW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 7, T18N, R2E, Colfax County has never been irrigated, the request to list this property as certified irrigated acres has been denied, passed with a motion by Robert Hilger and a second by Mr. Robert Meduna.

1.b. CHEMIGATION
Rationale

No new updates.

 

1.c. LIVESTOCK WASTE PERMITS
Rationale

No new updates

2. GROUND WATER PROGRAMS
2.a. DECOMMISSIONED WELL PROGRAM
2.a.1. Well Estimates
Rationale

One new well has been reviewed and approved by Gottschalk for decommissioning since the last Committee meeting.

 

 Well Owner Type of Well  Cost Share Estimate  County 
 Tom Christopherson Domestic 5" $643.88  Saunders 
       
       






 

2.a.2. Plugged Wells
Rationale

 Five wells have been plugged, reviewed, and ready for cost share payment approval this month.

 Well Owner Type of Well  Cost Share Estimate  County 
 Kevin Ziegenbein Irrigation  $650.69  Saunders 
 Knuth Trust  2 x Domestic $309.00  Saunders 
 Frontier Coop 2 x irrigation  $1,184.35 Colfax 






Recommended Motion

To approve cost share payment to decommission an irrigation well for Kevin Ziegenbien for $650.69, to decommission two domestic wells for the Knuth Trust for $309.00 and to decommission two irrigation wells for the Frontier Coop for $1,184.35

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  To approve cost share payment to decommission an irrigation well for Kevin Ziegenbien for $650.69, to decommission two domestic wells for the Knuth Trust for $309.00 and to decommission two irrigation wells for the Frontier Coop for $1,184.35 passed with a motion by Joe Birkel and a second by Mr. Robert Meduna.

2.b. LOWER PLATTE NORTH NRD GROUND WATER STUDIES
2.b.1. Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA)
Rationale

Katie Cameron (ENWRA coordinator) is requested we send our planned flight lines for the Water Sustainability Fund (WSF) application to the FYRA contractor.  We are interested in flying both SQS areas with the Platte - Colfax SQS having a higher priority.  This application will be turned in this December.

Katie is also working on updating the ENWRA Long Range Plan, which was little changed at the last ENWRA meeting held on November 10, 2015.

 

2.b.2. Platte & Elkhorn River Integrated Water Monitoring Project
Rationale

During the development of the Lower Platte River Voluntary Basin-wide Management Plan, several discussions amongst the seven NRDs (Coalition) have focused on mitigating drought, or very low streamflow conditions, in the Lower Platte River to meet the needs of public water supplies for over half of Nebraska’s population and instream flow rights. If groundwater or surface water were able to be stored in upstream portions of the Basin and retimed to meet these shortages, the Coalition then questioned how much of that water released into the river would actually make it to the lower reach of the Platte River and past the streamflow gage at Louisville.

One particular area of interest for potential streamflow loses in the Platte River is between approximately Fremont and the confluence with the Elkhorn River.  See attached proposal.

A previous study done by Lower Platte North NRD in the early 1990's (Sandpit Lever Recorder Study) indicated a connection between the Platte River and ground water, but the study named above should provide much more information about this hydrologic connection.

 

Attachments
Recommended Motion

To approve Lower Platte North NRD becoming a partner in the Platte and Elkhorn River Valley Integrated Water Monitoring Project with the Papio NRD, USGS, DNR, and the Water Sustainability Fund in the amount of $10,700 per year for two years

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  To approve Lower Platte North NRD becoming a partner in the Platte and Elkhorn River Valley Integrated Water Monitoring Project with the Papio NRD, USGS, DNR, and the Water Sustainability Fund in the amount of $10,700 per year for a two year study passed with a motion by Joe Birkel and a second by Mr. Robert Meduna.

2.b.3. Location of Tile Drains in LPNNRD
Rationale

Attached is more information on the Tile Drain Study proposed by USGS.  They will seek a WSF grant to help pay for this project.  The question on the location and number of tile drains in our district was a concern stated during our Stakeholders Meeting for our V-IMP.

USGS gave a presentation on details on the quantity and quality objectives of the study to the Water Committee.  After much discussion, no motion was made to approve moving ahead with this project.  Committee members would reconsider this study in future years when fewer study applications are being pursued.  

Attachments
2.c. GROUND WATER ENERGY LEVELS
Rationale

Staff completed the collection of the Fall GWEL readings in November.  As anticipated, most of these fall readings were up in comparison to Fall 2014.

[Comparison table is attachment]

Attachments
2.d. FORMER ORDNANCE PLANT NEAR MEAD
Rationale

The latest public availability meeting was held by the Corps of Engineers on November 18, 2015 at the Yutan VFW hall in Yutan NE.  Ed Louis is the new Project Manager for this site.  He has worked on this project before so is really returning to familiar ground.  

  • Presentation was given on the 2014 Containment Evaluation to keep the contaminate plumes in check (see attached map).
  • The new containment well EW-18 is in the process of being drilled and will use UV light to treat the RDX (an explosive compound) at the source.
  • The COE plans to drill at least 3 test holes deep into the Omadi Sandstone (part of the Dakota formation) to see if contaminates have entered the bedrock.  We may be able to also obtain regular water quality parameters at these depths, since this is of recent interest to the ENWRA NRD's.

Attachments
3. SURFACE WATER PROGRAMS
3.a. USGS STREAM FLOW GAUGING SITES
Rationale

USGS has sent a joint funding agreement to the LPNNRD for their continued gauging sites on Wahoo and Shell Creeks and the continuous reading ground water monitoring site south of Mead.   The agreement has the LPNNRD share at $16,490 and this has already been listed as an item in the Water Programs budget.  The agreement runs from October 1, 2015 to September 31, 2016.

Attachments
Recommended Motion

To approve the FY16 Joint Funding Agreement with USGS to foperate the stream flow gauges on Wahoo and Shell Creeks and the ground water recorder well south of Mead for $16,490

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  To approve the Joint Funding Agreement with USGS to fund the stream flow gauges on Wahoo and Shell Creeks and the ground water recorder well south of Mead on University property for $16,490 passed with a motion by Robert Hilger and a second by Joe Birkel.

4. OTHER
4.a. GMDA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Rationale

Staff is busy working out the details for the upcoming GMDA conference in Sacramento CA on January 5-8, 2016.

Current registration stands at ~80.

 

4.b. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC
Rationale

Arnie Stuthman again addressed the Water Committee about 45 acres he wants to irrigate in the Platte - Colfax SQS area.  He purchased a pivot and buried underground pipe from an existing well to the property and then mailed in his request to the LPNNRD in early 2013 for additional irrigated acres.  His original request was lost in the mail.