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 wellswere 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, groundwaterresource coordinator for the CSD, says the report's findings areconsistent with historical trends, but are not intended to be a comprehensivestudy 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 MonitoringReports each fall after the spring water level measurements have been taken andanalyzed, but created this special report to help individuals and organizations prepare for the coming agriculturalseason.
"Many people are concerned about how much groundwater levels declined dueto the 2012 drought," said Young. "This report will give a rough ideaof how water levels responded in areas with a high density of irrigationwells."
Measurements from the five sites include: TheGrainton Recorder well in Perkins County fell 1.85 feet; the Alliance Recorderwell in Box Butte County fell 3.33 feet; the Elgin Recorder well in AntelopeCounty fell 5.5 feet; the Shickley Recorder well in Fillmore County fell 2.87feet, 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.