Every year, Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) across Nebraska collect groundwater level data from groundwater wells. Those data are a critical part of groundwater monitoring in Nebraska, helping NRDs understand local groundwater conditions and contributing to other agency efforts to track groundwater quantities across river basin and statewide scales.
NRD groundwater-level data, along with data collected by other agencies, contribute to important analyses and decision-making processes that preserve groundwater for future Nebraskans. Coordination between NRDs and other agencies has been a key to Nebraska's success in maintaining stores of groundwater in the porous rock and sediment beneath the ground. Local challenges remain, but the change in groundwater storage in Nebraska since the 1950's is only about 1% when taken as an average across the state.
Key outcomes of groundwater monitoring programs in Nebraska include:
- Annual Groundwater-Levels Change Report, showing how statewide groundwater levels have changed over the years. The report is published by the Conservation and Survey Division (Nebraska's Geological Survey), which is part of the University of Nebraska - School of Natural Resources.
- River basin-scale groundwater models developed by the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) and other agencies. Information on the NeDNR models, model outputs, and the underlying data are found on the INSIGHT website.
- Critical local decisions within NRDs are made based on groundwater level data, including regulation of well drilling and groundwater use for irrigation. Examples of regulations for Nebraska's 23 NRDs can be found on the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts website.
Interested in learning more about groundwater levels in Nebraska? The following pages provide additional information and interactive exercises.
- Why do groundwater levels change?
- How to use NeDNR's INSIGHT program: A tutorial [pending]
- What are common options for groundwater regulation in Nebraska? [pending/example]
- How can economic analyses improve groundwater regulation? [pending/example]