Striving to improve the quality of life through the protection of natural resources is LENRD's mission

The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) serves all or parts of 15-counties in northeast Nebraska with a mission of improving the quality of life for all citizens by conserving, developing, and managing all natural resources.  The LENRD Board of Directors met on Thursday, June 28th for their regular meeting.

Each year, the LENRD measures the water levels of 240 irrigation wells across the district.  From 2017 to 2018, 42 of the wells measured an increase 2 to 5 feet.  LENRD Water Resources Technician, Dallas Dorey, gave his yearly report at the meeting.  He explained, “Overall, the spring water levels throughout the district increased this year, with the exception of the southeast portion.  Some wells in the southeastern part of the district saw moderate declines.”  More information can be obtained by contacting the LENRD office.

In other business, the board continued their discussion on the City of Norfolk’s Johnson Park River Rehabilitation Project along the North Fork of the Elkhorn River.  LENRD Director, Jill Barr, of Norfolk, said, “The City’s plan to create recreational opportunities along the river could attract more people and businesses to the Norfolk area.  One of the LENRD’s 12 responsibilities is the development and management of recreational and park facilities, and I think it’s important that we keep that in mind when reviewing projects like this.”  The board will continue their discussion of the project at their next committee meeting and budget workshop on July 12th.

LENRD Projects Manager, Curt Becker, announced that the district has worked with the producers across the district and have found that all flow meters have been installed on irrigation wells.  The board instructed the general manager to issue cease and desist orders, if needed, to any landowner that is found to be irrigating without a flow meter as they continue with their inspections across the district.

In other action, the board approved the cost of living salary adjustment of 1.8% for staff and approved the step and grade changes proposed by management for Fiscal Year 2019.  The board also authorized the staff to advertise for the Subdistrict 1 Board of Directors seat that is currently vacant.  Applications are due by July 19th.  More information and a map of the subdistrict is available on the district’s website.

The next board of directors meeting will be held on Thursday, July 26th at the LENRD office at 1508 Square Turn Boulevard in Norfolk.  Prior to the board meeting the district will conduct an Open House Public Hearing from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. regarding the Groundwater Management Area and the possible changes to the proposed Phase 2 & Phase 3 Areas in Pierce County and northern Madison County, due to the elevation of nitrates in the drinking water.  Visit the district’s website for the latest news and updates.