Groundwater Monitoring

Groundwater Monitoring

Annual Review

Annual Review
Annual Review

Each year, LPSNRD publishes monitoring results, program activity and much more related to our management of groundwater throughout the district.  Check results of groundwater monitoring for both quality and quantity where you live, using our 2021 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 groundwater reservoirs, and obtaining a well permit in these areas may require different procedures than in other areas. Areas not within a groundwater 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
  • A rolling allocation for all certified irrigated acres:
    • All irrigation types: 21 acre-inches per three years with a maximum of nine 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 groundwater 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. ​​

Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) Survey

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

The latest airborne electromagnetic scanning project over LPSNRD was flown in 2018 and the processed data is now available on the website of the Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment.

Since 2007, LPSNRD has commissioned seven airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys in various parts of the district.  These surveys utilize mapping by sensitive equipment flown by helicopter over distinct blocks of land to get a better understanding of the geological structure.  The surveys can, among other things, indicate the locations of groundwater aquifers and help LPSNRD manage groundwater resources in the future. 

The AEM surveys are coordinated by the Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA), of which LPSNRD is a partner.  ENWRA also coordinates the interpretation of the data and distributes those interpretations to the public.  Below are ENWRA website links to all seven reports on LPSNRD AEM surveys, with brief summaries.

  • 2007 Firth block report:  First use of AEM technology in eastern Nebraska – conducted at three geologically distinct pilot study sites (Ashland, Oakland, and Firth) under the Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment Project (ENWRA) project.

  • Google Earth Deliverables for Firth block: 2007 data converted by Aqua Geo Frameworks, LLC [AGF] in 2016, includes Oakland and Ashland sites.

  • 2009 LPSNRD Sprague block reports: The Sprague block (adjoining to the west of the Firth block) was flown by the District (ENWRA and Nebraska Environmental Trust partnerships) to study water quality and quantity issues in the Crete-Princeton-Adams (CPA) groundwater reservoir. USGS publication, CSD Bulletin and Google Earth datasets are available for the Sprague block.

  • 2013 Dwight-Valparaiso Brainard Flights:   The District employed the time domain electromagnetic geophysical method (TDEM), an AEM method capable of resolution below the thick glacial tills common in eastern Nebraska, in the Dwight-Valparaiso-Brainard special management area in response to water quantity issues in the 2012 drought season.

LPSNRD has made complete hard copy reports from these flights available to the public at the locations listed below.  The reports are lengthy and geologically technical.

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

  • 2015 ENWRA Reconnaissance Flights:  The District in partnership with ENWRA and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources [NeDNR] flew approximately 2,200 line miles in longer recon style transects to give ENWRA NRDs an idea of what can be imaged (this AEM system was the deepest sensing system to date) across different settings in their districts relative to their specific water management concerns. Approximately 350 line miles were flown across the District in 2015 as part of the reconnaissance efforts.

  • 2016 AEM Flights over the eastern part of the District: The District along with several NRDs across the state conducted AEM flights in July and early August 2016 using Water Sustainability Fund (WSF) grant dollars awarded in April 2016.  The District focused on the Lower Salt Creek, Waverly, Cass County Rural Water District #2 (CCRWD2), Eagle, Elmwood, Otoe County Rural Water District #3 (OCRWD3), Weeping Water, Cass County Rural Water District #1/ Sanitary Improvement District #1 (CCRWD1/SD1), and Union areas in the eastern part of the district, including several reconnaissance lines.

  • 2018 AEM Flights over the western part of the District: The 2018 AEM survey collected data along grid lines spaced approximately 1 to 1.5 miles apart in the western part of the District. Block areas with flight lines spaced about 650 to 1,000 feet apart were also flown in the Ceresco, Davey-Raymond, Garland-Malcom, Dwight South, Emerald-Pleasant Dale, and Denton community water supply protection areas.