The Lincoln Journal Star in Lincoln, Nebraska, reports drought conditions across the state forced users to pump heavily from groundwater wells last year.
The newspaper article stated: “The Upper Big Blue NRD (Nebraska Association of Resource Districts) on Wednesday reported an average decline of 4.38 feet in groundwater levels from a year ago.
The readings were taken from 514 observation wells scattered over Butler, Seward, Saline, Polk, York, Fillmore, Clay, Adams, and Hamilton counties.
"It is the steepest (one-year) decline that we have seen since we have been measuring wells," said John Turnbull, general manager of the York-based district.
Turnbull said this spring's readings are about 3 feet below the groundwater levels recorded in 1961, when the district started keeping records.
Excessive pumping last year is the main reason for the drop, he said, adding that irrigators who relied on groundwater pumped an average of 12.2 inches.
No irrigators were shut off last year, and Turnbull's not worried about the groundwater decline. He said the district is still about 3 feet above the point where it would mandate the use of flow meters and start to allocate water.
Flow meters have been required for all new wells and replacement wells since 2004.” Click here to read the full story.