LLNRD approves new irrigated acres in five counties

Due to groundwater rising in specified areas, the Lower Loup Natural Resources District Board recently approved new irrigated acres for 2023 in an area between the Middle Loup and North Loup Rivers in Valley, Loup, Sherman, Howard and Custer counties. Over 1,100 acres were approved.
Groundwater levels in some parts of the LLNRD have risen more than 30 feet over the past 40 years and continue to rise. The increase leaves some land inundated and unfarmable. Largest increases have been recorded between the Middle Loup and North Loup Rivers, and that is the area receiving additional irrigated acre allocations.
The groundwater rise is attributed to irrigation canals and farm fields supplied with surface water acting as an artificial recharge system. Strategic allocations by the NRD are intended to capture excess water mounding for beneficial use.
The approval process includes producers working with the NRCS to develop conservation plans for the new irrigated acres.