Groundwater Levels Show Increase in 2018

Static accumulated groundwater levels are up 0.54 feet since spring of 2017 in the Central Platte NRD. Levels are determined by measurements taken by CPNRD staff from 430 designated wells each year.

Although the annual levels increased this year, the 1982 to 2018 static groundwater levels are down 0.31 feet. The 1982 levels were established as the standard for CPNRD’s Groundwater Management Plan with maximum acceptable declines and a margin of safety calculated for each of the District’s 24 Ground Water Management Areas (GWMA).

GWMA 9 continues to show annual declines measuring a decline of 12.39 feet in Buffalo County north of Kearney. This management area has had steady declines since 2000, dropping another quarter-foot since last spring despite timely rains during the 2017 growing season.

If the water table would fall to 50 percent of the maximum decline, Phase II would go into effect requiring mandatory reductions in irrigated acres. Since the area extends into the Lower Loup NRD, the NRDs are jointly studying the groundwater declines more closely.

CPNRD serves 11 counties including all of Dawson and parts of Frontier, Custer Buffalo, Hall, Howard, Nance, Merrick, Hamilton, Platte, and Polk.

PDF Download- Groundwater Level Report  Interactive maps are available at