Landowners within the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) boundaries, will have an opportunity to apply for new irrigated acres in some portions of the District, beginning Oct. 1st.
The LENRD board voted, at their August meeting, to allow up to 450 acre-feet of new depletions, in accordance with their Voluntary Integrated Management Plan for irrigation development in the Hydrologically Connected or 10/50 Area, and to allow up to 2,500 acres of new groundwater irrigation development in the Non-Hydrologically Connected or Non 10/50 Area under the district’s standard variance process. An approved variance is a requirement for any expansion of irrigated acres in the LENRD, whether from an existing or new irrigation well.
Geographic portions of the district that are eligible to be considered for standard variances are areas that fall within the top three categories of the classification map. A map of the eligible locations will be available at the LENRD office in Norfolk by no later than Friday, August 30th.
Excluded from consideration for this sign-up period will be any parcel of land located in any Quantity Management Subarea or Phase 3 Area located within the LENRD.
LENRD Assistant Manager, Brian Bruckner, said, “The board also approved the scoring sheets used by staff when processing applications and reauthorized use of the Conditions for Approval policy, which has accompanied approved variances each of the last two years. In addition, a minimum soil score of 90 must be met for any standard variance to be considered for approval.”
The board established a sign-up period to receive applications for Standard Variances from October 1st, 2019 through October 31st, 2019. Application forms will be available online and in the office beginning October 1st.