Findings in a new University of Nebraska-Lincoln Conservation and Survey Division report show a decline in groundwater levels at select locations around Nebraska.
While the annual reports assess data from about 5,500 wells, only five wells were selected for this special report for their location in regions with many irrigations wells as well as their historically significant water-level changes.
Aaron Young, groundwater
resource coordinator for the CSD, says the report's findings are
consistent with historical trends, but are not intended to be a comprehensive
study of the impacts of the 2012 drought.
All of the sites saw a decline in water levels from spring of 2012 to the spring of 2013, some by as much as 5.5 feet.
The CSD publishes the annual Nebraska Statewide Groundwater-Level Monitoring Reports each fall after the spring water level measurements have been taken and analyzed, but created this special report to help individuals and organizations prepare for the coming agricultural season.
"Many people are concerned about how much groundwater levels declined due to the 2012 drought," said Young. "This report will give a rough idea of how water levels responded in areas with a high density of irrigation wells."
Measurements from the five sites include: The Grainton Recorder well in Perkins County fell 1.85 feet; the Alliance Recorder well in Box Butte County fell 3.33 feet; the Elgin Recorder well in Antelope County fell 5.5 feet; the Shickley Recorder well in Fillmore County fell 2.87 feet, and the Aurora Recorder well in Hamilton County fell 5 feet.
A copy of the report can be found at http://snr.unl.edu/data/download/water/GWMapArchives/GWReports/ESN-9_2012.pdf.