If Your Irrigation Well is Unregistered, It Is 'Illegal'

If Your Irrigation Well is Unregistered, It Is 'Illegal'

Wells must be registered with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.

The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources requires all irrigation wells in Nebraska to be registered.

Dean Edson, executive director of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts, says that state law requires that all irrigation wells be registered with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.

"It is important to be certain that your well is not only registered but registered correctly to ensure that it is not determined to be an illegal well," Edson says. "Wells that are not registered and remain unregistered will be determined to be illegal wells. An illegal well is one that has not been registered with the DNR or state data bases."

If Your Irrigation Well is Unregistered, It Is 'Illegal'

Unregistered wells can cause spacing violation in relationship to other wells. Well registrations are used to determine if new wells can be legally constructed. New wells must be located at least 600 feet from another irrigation well and 1,000 feet from an industrial or public supply well. If you check your registration now, it may prevent a dispute in the future.

The enactment of LB 962 in 2004 found all or portions of nine natural resources districts to be "fully appropriated" and subject to provisions of that bill which includes stays on the construction of new wells and the use of unregistered wells.

"Whenever a basin is declared 'over appropriated' or "fully appropriated," there will be immediate stays on new uses of groundwater and surface water. Only wells that are properly registered will be eligible for irrigation usage. All other wells will be considered illegal wells.

If you NRD has not declared "over or fully appropriated, but it is essential for well owners to have their wells registered with the state if the district ever were to receive the designation.

"Anyone with an irrigation well on their property should verify it is properly registered," Edson says." To register a well or confirm proper registration, you will need to know the legal description where the well is located, the acres that are irrigated by the well, and current ownership of the well."

Registration information can be viewed on the DNR website www.dnr.ne.gov under the heading "Groundwater," or contact the DNR at 402-471-2363. Your local NRD also can help you with registration information.

NARD is the umbrella entity for the state's 23 NRDs.

Source: Nebraska Association of Resources Districts.

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