Over the summer months, staff from the Upper Niobrara White Natural Resources District (UNWNRD) will be collecting samples from irrigation wells throughout the district in order to evaluate the groundwater quality.
Nebraska’s NRDs are statutorily obligated to monitor the groundwater and take action where quality concerns are detected. The most common parameter of concern is nitrate, which is a common nutrient utilized in crop production. In order to be safe for human consumption, drinking water nitrate levels need to be below 10 milligrams per liter (mg/l). Based on past monitoring and analysis, the average nitrate levels through the UNWNRD remains well
below the limit at 4.4 mg/l.
The District’s Groundwater Management Plan requires that all irrigation wells be sampled once every four years. In order to accomplish this, samples will be collected during chemigation inspections and for wells that do not chemigate, when wells are running. As a result, producers and other landowner may encounter UNWNRD staff entering or exiting fields. UNWNRD pick-ups can be recognized by the logo on the driver and passenger doors.
Information on the groundwater quality can be found at www.unwnrd.org . Questions should be directed to Haley
Anders, Water Resources Manager at 308-432-6190.