Lower Platte North NRD
April 27, 2016 5:00 PM
Water Committee Meeting
1.A.1. Variance Request in the Hydrologically Connected Area (Limited Development Area)

The District received 2 new applications to irrigate new acres in the Hydrologically Connected Area. One expansion variance for 65 acres (Todd Valley subarea) and one new well variance for 160 acres (Upper Newman Grove subarea).

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

No updates

1.A.3. Variance Requests in the Restricted Development Areas

No Updates

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

Wells Permits Approved: Schomer approved 2 well permits since the last Committee meeting.

Landowner Number of Wells Number of New Irrigated Acres Type of Well County Subarea
Renee Rassmussen 1 0 Irrigation/Replacement Dodge North Bend
Perkins Irrevocable Land Trust 1 0 Irrigation/Replacement Colfax Octavia

The total number of approved permits for 2016 is 5.

Location of Approved Well Permits for 2016:  Correct as of 4/25/2016

County Irrigation - New Irrigation - Replacement Stock Commercial Municipal Other Total
Butler 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Colfax 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Dodge 0 3 0 0 0 0 3
Boone 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Madison 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Platte 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Saunders 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Total 1 4 0 0 0 0 5







1.A.4.b. Jeffery Temme Supplemental Well Application

Jeffery Temme has applied for a supplemental well in the NE 1/4, NE 1/4, Section 14, T22N, R6W, Boone County, Upper Newman Grove Subarea. The new well will irrigate 156 acres that are currently being watered with well G-087266 (see attached map for a total of 212 acres). Well G-087266 will continue to irrigate 56 acres in the N 1/2, SE 1/4 of the same section. Attached is a map of the field in question, the well log for G-087266, and a copy of the application.

LPNNRD policy on supplemental wells requires a test hole, but no information was submitted.  He will be contacted about this requirement.


1.A.5. Special Quantity Subareas
1.A.5.a. LPNNRD SQS Operator Certification Classes

We will have a list of landowners who still need to attend the Platte - Colfax SQS (SQS #2) training class by the May 9, 2016 Board meeting.

1.A.5.b. Water Sustainability Fund Grant Request

Our grant request to the WSF for cost-share on flow meters was approved, but as of April 27, 2016 we have not received a contract yet from DNR for this program.  

The Lower Platte North NRD is a funding source for the training classes (100%) on water management and 50% cost share for the soil moisture sensors, ET gauges, data readers and/or loggers, and soil probes.

The agricultural producers are responsible for 50% of the cost share for the irrigation well flow meters and 50% of the cost share for the soil sensors, etc.

The table below represents the total project cost over a three year period. 

Entire Cost for Project (2016 – 2018)

Funding Source



Ag Producers in Platte-Colfax SQS


Flow Meters (Est. 300 meters)





Management & Training Classes Budget Category





Soil Moisture Sensors, Electronic Readers for Sensors, Soil Probes, ET gauges










Notification will be sent to producers in the Platte - Colfax SQS area, but this cost share program likely won't begin until late summer or early fall.

1.A.5.c. SQS Flow Meter Maintenance Program

Tri-City Meters gave a presentation on their flow meter maintenance program (see attached sheet).

If the LPNNRD adopts this program for the fall of 2016, this will need to be a budget item for the next fiscal year (FY16-17).


1.A.6. Lower Platte River Basin Water Management Plan Coalition (LPRBC)

The next Technical Committee meeting is scheduled for May 4th at the Lower Loup NRD in Ord, which is the same day as the Spring Conservation Sensation (SCS).  LPNNRD staff probably won't be able to attend the Technical Comm. since everyone will be involved at Czechland Lake.  We will request any minutes and maps from the Technical Committee of LPRBC.


1.A.7. Voluntary Integrated Water Management Plan - LENRD and LPNNRD

Angle met with Amy Zoller of DNR on April 25, 2016 to discuss the Goals and Objectives of our V-IMP.

The latest version is attached.  After review and approval these need to be incorporated into the final plan for Board review.  The stakeholders would like to review the plan before final Board approval at a later date.

After the V-IMP is approved, the LPNNRD will need a major revision of our GWMA Rules and Regulations.


1.A.8. LPNNRD Certification

LPNNRD Certification

Three on-line test requests have been made since the last committee meeting and three on-line tests have been completed.  These results are shown below.

Cert #

Cert date






Scott Rosenthal





Lewis Grotelueschen





Mark Rickert


(six tries)







1.A.9. Certifying Acres in Saunders and Dodge Counties


Saunders County Acre Certification

Chris Poole reports we are now through the bulk of Acre Certification in the District. We need to begin chasing down the ones that never sent anything back in Saunders and Dodge County. I’d like to start with Saunders, then proceed to Dodge.

There are 244 un-entered Acre Certification forms for Saunders County, most of which are landowners that have more than two acre certification forms. We need to contact the folks that never sent their forms back. The question is, what form do we want that contact to take?

  1. A letter explaining the landowner or their tenant needs to come to the office and fill out the paperwork, unless they still have their forms and wish to mail them, or they will receive a “Stay of Irrigation” by X date (what date? I’d say late June).
  2. Simply send a “Stay of Irrigation” explaining that to lift the stay they will need to complete their acre certification and violating a stay will result in a Cease and Desist. (would we want to send these certified?)
  3. Send out new Acre Certification packets with a letter spelling out one of the above (which?)

I’m partial to Number 2 as it will likely be the impetus needed to get people in to certify.


In the past we have sent a letter to these landowners stating that they accurately complete the acre certification forms and return them to our office by a specific date, otherwise a cease and desist order will be issued against any irrigation of those specific fields.  Recommend they reply by next Water Committee May 25th or a Cease & Desist Order could be issued at the June 13th Board meeting.



Recommended Motion

*To have LPNNRD staff sent a letter to landowners in Saunders County who have failed to properly fill out and return irrigated acre certification forms to the LPNNRD and require these properly completed forms to be submitted to the LPNNRD by May 25, 2016 or cease and desist order will be issued to cease irrigation of those specific fields at the June 13th Board meeting

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  To approve LPNNRD staff to sent a letter to landowners in Saunders County who have failed to properly fill out and return the acre certification forms of the LPNNRD and require these to be submitted to the LPNNRD by May 25, 2016 or cease and desist order will be issued to cease irrigation of those specific fields at the June 13th Board meeting passed with a motion by Joe Birkel and a second by Robert Hilger.


For 2015 we had 515 approved chemigation sites.  So far, we have received 233 chemigation renewals and 10 new permit applications.


 County Number of Renewals 
 Boone 30
Butler 22
Colfax 8
Dodge 32
Madison 5
Platte 42
Saunders 94



Question on Renewal and New Chemigation Permit Fees from Producers

A renewal permit is $30 and new permit $60, which is the same price over a two year period, so some producers say why renew if the price is the same.  Therefore, they may not renew the permit if the field is going to soybeans and then these producers would get a new permit the following year.  Since we are now on rotation to inspect each well once every three years, this could work out to doing inspections once every two years with a resulting increase in work load.  Next fall we may want to decrease the price for renewals or increase the price for new permits.  This would require a change in our chemigation rules and a public hearing.


 County Number 
 Boone 15 
 Butler 10 
 Dodge 15 
 Platte 27 
 Saunders 40 


The renewal deadline in June 1st.


The LPNNRD has received one livestock permit modification from DEQ since the last Water Committee meeting.

 Name Livestock  Type of Permit  Legal Description  County 

The Maschhoff, LLC

7475 State Rte. 127

Carlyle, Illinois 62231


5,995 Nursery Swine

2,575 Finish Swine

Total of 1,267.8 A.U.

Expansion of Existing  Permit SW1/4, SW1/4, Section 19, T18N, R1W Platte




The Maschhoffs operation is an expansion of an existing operation of 2,400 head of finish swine (A.U. 960) with an additional 170 head of finish swine and 5,995 nursery swine for a total of 1,267.8 A.U.

2.A.1. Well Estimates

No new wells has been reviewed and approved by Gottschalk for decommissioning since the last Committee meeting.

2.A.2. Plugged Wells

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

 Well Owner Type of Well  Cost Share Estimate  County 
Jamie Schnakenberg – Four J Farms, LLC Domestic $459.56 Saunders
Keith Ziegenbein – Lazy Bear Woods, LLC Domestic $476.25 Saunders

Recommended Motion

* To approve cost-share payments to Jamie Schnakenberg to decommission a domestic well for $459.56 and to Keith Ziegenbein to decommission a domestic well for $476.25

Actions Taken

Motion Passed:  * To approve cost-share payment to Jamie Schnakenberg to decommission a domestic well for $459.56 and to Keith Ziegenbein to decommission a domestic well for $476.25 passed with a motion by Dave Saalfeld and a second by Joe Birkel.

2.B.1. Elkhorn Loup Model (ELM)

Staff met with Steve Peterson of USGS on April 21, 2016 to upload the ELM model onto our computers. Computers with USGS, LL, LE, and LPN will be collectively used to calculate stream depletion factors for the ELM model.  This should shorten the calculation time or run time for one simulation from weeks to several days.

The ELM model includes the upper and middle portions of the Shell Creek watershed in our District.

2.B.2. Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA)

Staff met with Aqua Geo Frameworks, ENWRA, and several NRD personnel on April 26th to discuss the approval of our Water Sustainability Fund (WSF) grant applications for AEM flights (see attached sheet).

For LPNNRD our grant request was to do detailed flights over both of our SQS areas.

Aqua Geo Frameworks (AGF) says it maybe possible to group all the helicopter flights between mid-July and early September if all the NRD contracts and at least partial funding for the projects could be obtained by mid-June.  The helicopter company requires a 30% payment before they fly to pay some of their equipment and personnel costs.  This would mean this 30% payment would have to come from FY2015-2016, but we do have money available in this fiscal year's budget.

Skytem 508 system was used to do the long flight lines in 2015 over Eastern Nebraska and were able to get readings down to 1,500 feet below the land surface.  This system is no longer available due to the difficultly to fly such large equipment.  Skytem 304, which is a smaller array, will be used for these new AEM flights of our SQS areas.  The resolution is better nearer the surface and can still get readings down to 600 feet or to the top of the bedrock.


The two Level Troll data loggers purchased in May 2014 from In-Situ have both had sensor failure.  The replacement logger for one was received May 26th and has been installed in the well.  As per the instructions received from In-Situ the second logger was shipped back to In-Situ on May 27th.  Both loggers were still under warranty. 

A third logger, purchased in 2007, has been sent to In-Situ for evaluation.



Spring GWEL measurements

Staff has completed the Spring measurements.  As anticipated the water levels were better across most of the district.  The least amount of positive change was in the Shell Creek watershed, which had comparatively lesser precipitation during the 2015 growing season than the other aquifer regions.  The “Ground Water Level Summary comparison of Spring 2015 to Spring 2016” is attached.



Monitoring on the Wahoo Creek watershed as part of the grant through the Projects Committee is being planned for this summer in conjunction with DEQ.  DEQ personnel will do the stream water sampling then run the bacteria samples in our lab.  Our role will be to read the sample results the next day since the bacteria samples have to be incubated for 24 hours.  This monitoring will start in early May and run through early September.




The GMDA Summer Session is scheduled for June 29 - July 1, 2016 in Yakima Washington.  The Conference will be held at the Downtown Holiday Inn and includes a tour of irrigation projects in the valley.  The brochure and conference agenda is attached.



Three summer interns have been hired for 2016:  Will Brueggemann (UNL), Jacob Maslonka (UNL), and Christopher Smith (Doane).  They are schedule to all start Monday, May 9, 2016. 

We didn’t receive as many job applications this year as we have had in previous years.



Desirae TePoel, our new I&E person reminded everyone about our upcoming Spring Conservation Sensation at Czechland Lake on Wednesday May 4th.

Other people at the Water Committee included Mary Wotipka, Mark Vanosdall and his assistant from Tri-City Meters, and Board Chairman John Hannah.


The Water Committee adjourned at 6:58 pm.