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LLNRD to allow 2,000 new irrigated acres

Land in the North Loup River and Beaver Creek Sub-Basins (blue and green shaded areas) is eligible to apply for new irrigation development.
Land in the North Loup River and Beaver Creek Sub-Basins (blue and green shaded areas) is eligible to apply for new irrigation development.
Development of up to 2,000 new acres of groundwater irrigation in the North Loup River and Beaver Creek Sub-Basins in 2018 has been approved by the Lower Loup Natural Resources District (LLNRD) Board of Directors.
Detailed maps showing the sections in the two sub-basins can be found on the LLNRD website. A list of the sections for which acres can applied is also available on the LLNRD website.
Included in the acres eligible for new irrigation in the Beaver Creek Sub-Basin are more than 370 sections of Boone County land, more than 70 sections in Nance County, and more than 235 sections in Wheeler County.
NRD General Manager Leon “Butch” Koehlmoos said that the new irrigation development was approved after a review of the available water in the NRD. He said that studies still showed a “surplus” in the water budget created for both sub-basins of the Loup River Basin.
New irrigation was not an option for any other basin in the NRD given present water supplies.
Under the new Integrated Management Plan developed by the LLNRD and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), one surface water acre of new irrigation could also be developed for every three new groundwater irrigated acres, Koehlmoos stated.
LLNRD Assistant General Manager Russell Callan said that, as in the past, applications for new irrigation would be ranked using criteria approved by the NRD board when irrigated acres had been granted previously. The criteria include the stream depletion factors, the status of groundwater and surface water, the type of acre being developed, the number of acres being developed, and the soil classification. A non-refundable fee of $500 will be required with each application.
Callan said that application forms for new irrigated acres are available to potential applicants here as well as NRCS offices in the district, and at the NRD Headquarters office, 2620 Airport Drive, in Ord. Applications will be accepted Sept. 1-20, 2017 only, and landowners will be notified of their application’s outcome by December 1.
The application form requires information on the landowner and/or their contact person; field description and FSA aerial photo depicting the field; the number of acres of new irrigation requested, and the application fee.