Groundwater Management

Groundwater Management

The URNRD has maintained a groundwater well measurement database since 1972.  More than 400 irrigation wells are measured twice annually, in the spring and the fall, to monitor the static water level. Additionally, all irrigation wells in the District are required to be equipped with flow meters that track water use. District technicians read the meters annually. The information is used to detect trends in District water use, for Republican River Compact complaince purposes, and so that water users are aware of how much allocation remains after a given irrigation season. Combined with the static water level data, the usage information helps inform District decisions on whether changes must be made to the District's rules and regulations. 

The allocation for the 2013-2017 allocation period is a total of 65", which is 13" annualized. Water users can distribute use of the 65" over the five-year period as they wish so long as the 65" allocation is not exceeded. Rules changes approved in 2013 limit the amount of "carry-forward", or unused allocation from previous allocation periods, to 7.5" during an allocation period. If that limit is exceeded, water users are penalized by losing an additional inch of allocation. The same 2-1 penalty is applied to water users who don't have carry-forward and borrow allocation from a subsequent allocation period. Other rules that limit the amount of carry-forward that can be transferred or pooled with other tracts have also been imposed recently. The changes are expected to create significant water savings over the mid and long term. 

Rules and Regulations
Overview of Recent Rules Changes
Republican Basin Sustainability Actions

The URNRD and other NRDs in the Republican Basin have taken significant steps to preserve water. An overview of some of the steps that have been taken: