Ground Water Monitoring

Ground Water Monitoring

Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) Survey

Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) Survey
Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) Survey

In 2013, Exploration Resources International (XRI), under contract with LPSNRD, gathered airborne electromagnetic data in the northwestern part of the District. The project area included 99-square miles within a larger area, now called the Dwight-Valparaiso-Brainard Special Management Area.​

The special management area designation by the LPSNRD Board of Directors was in response to seasonal water level declines and, as hoped, the electromagnetic survey provided extensive information about the area's geology, aquifer characteristics, and water in storage. LPSNRD’s use of the data is on-going. This summary is intended to help landowners in the project area access data showing the depth to aquifer material, the thickness of the aquifer, and other basic information. Much more, very technical information collected is also available.​ Access details are included below.

The survey was flown by helicopter over three distinct blocks of land.  To access a full, interactive map with aquifer information about individual tracts of land, you will need to have a version of the Google Earth program installed on your computer. You can download the free version by clicking here.

Now, with Google Earth installed, open the interactive map.  Google Earth will open and load the necessary map information. This may take a minute. Click any blue-shaded point on the map to see information about aquifer materials there. 

This map provides a good indication of the availability of ground water, but the actual availability of ground water may vary significantly. The user's hardware capabilities may limit success in executing this link's intended actions.

Tip: In the left column, in the Places tab, click on "Aquifer Properties" to highlight, then at the bottom of the tab click the "Adjust Opacity" square and adjust the slider to make underlying map features more visible.​

The information available through the interactive map represents just a small portion of the data collected in the electromagnetic survey. The entire report from XRI is lengthy and geologically technical, but it is available in hard copy form at the following locations:​​

Dwight Public Library
120 North Second Street
Dwight, NE 68635
Wednesday 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Saturday 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Valparaiso Public Library
300 West Second Street​
Valparaiso, NE 68065
Tuesday and Wednesday 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Thursday  1:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

East Butler Public Schools Library
212 South Madison Street
Brainard, NE 68626
During school hours

Annual Review



Research has determined five areas of the District where good quality water can be found reasonably close to the surface. These areas are called ground water reservoirs, and obtaining a well permit in these areas may require different procedures than in other areas. Areas not within a ground water reservoir are referred to as the "Remaining Area."​

Special Management Areas

Special Management Areas
Special Management Areas

Dwight-Valparaiso-Brainard Special Management Area​
Designated in March 2014, following a well-drilling moratorium, landowner surveys, and public hearings, the Dwight-Valparaiso-Brainard Special Management Area (DVB SMA) was created.  The designation was a result of reduced flows from some domestic and other small wells in the area during times of heavy irrigation. An advisory group of stakeholders from the area helps evaluate progress and guide administration of the Dwight-Valparaiso-Brainard Special Management Area by the LPSNRD Board. 

DVB SMA rules and regulations include:

  • A prohibition on new irrigated acres
  • An allocation for all certified irrigated acres:
    • Pivot: 21 acre-inches per three years with a maximum of nine acre-inches applied in any one year
    • Gravity: 30 acre-inches per three years with a maximum of 12 acre-inches applied in any one year
  • Irrigators must complete a management certification class
  • Establishment of cost-share programs
  • Deeper wells to avoid seasonal water declines
  • All new well permits must be approved by the LPSNRD Board of Directors

Hydrologically Connected Areas​
The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources has designated Hydrologically Connected Areas throughout the state where ground and surface water resources are directly connected and have relatively immediate impacts on each other. In the Lower Platte South NRD, the area includes about 70 sections along Salt Creek, between Lincoln and Ashland and along the south side of the Platte River from Ashland to Plattsmouth.

Monitoring Network

Monitoring Network
Monitoring Network

Certain wells throughout the District are sampled at least once yearly for quality and measured at least twice yearly for quantity to help determine trends and the need to study possible phase designation changes. This "Monitoring Network" grows larger each year. In some cases, wells are drilled strictly for monitoring purposes and other times existing municipal or irrigation wells are added to the network through agreements with landowners. ​​