Lower Elkhorn NRD receives Nebraska Environmental Trust grant for monitoring project

The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) recently announced that they will receive $65,720 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the “Lower Elkhorn Real-Time Monitoring Well Network Telemetry Project” project.  The Trust Board announced funding for the project at its April meeting in Lincoln.  The project is one of the 105 projects receiving $18,301,819 in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year.  Of these, 66 were new applications and 39 are carry-over projects.

The LENRD is committed to the conservation of groundwater and recognizes the significant value a reliable groundwater source has for its constituents.  In an effort to proactively manage and conserve groundwater, the LENRD proposes the Lower Elkhorn Real-Time Monitoring Well Network Telemetry Project.  LENRD Assistant General Manager, Brian Bruckner, explains, “The ability to utilize real-time data when making management decisions is necessary for the LENRD to proactively manage the groundwater supply in northeast Nebraska.  This project will result in real-time access to groundwater level data by any individual with internet access.”

The Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA) and the University of Nebraska Conservation and Survey Division (CSD) fully support this effort, and are committed to providing assistance to the LENRD for this project.  This grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust will enable the LENRD to install telemetry equipment on its established groundwater well monitoring network at 45 well sites.  In return, the LENRD will install and maintain all components of the project, including all staff time and travel costs and any subscription fees or web platform development fees.  The LENRD will also purchase 14 replacement transducers.  These transducers have reliably provided data to the LENRD, but require periodic replacement to ensure that accurate data continues to be collected.  ENWRA will purchase and install one telemetry system and purchase two replacement transducers for the nested well site, as well as assisting the LENRD with data processing and evaluation.  CSD will contribute staff time and resources to evaluate well sites and provide a detailed aquifer description.  The partnership between the LENRD, NET, ENWRA, and CSD will result in an innovative method of collecting and disseminating vital groundwater level data to all entities and individuals that can utilize the information when making management decisions.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $289 million in grants to over 2,000 projects across the state. Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska.  The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.