Subcommittee Takes No Action on Irrigation Restrictions

NORFOLK - A subcommittee of the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District took no action last night after hearing from residents of areas affected by low groundwater levels during the irrigation season of 2012. Water Resources Manager Rick Wozniak says about 200 people attended the meeting, set to discuss recommendations that three areas be designated for special management, including flow meters on irrigation wells, maximum irrigation allowed and no permits issued for new irrigated acres. The areas being considered for the special management are between Norfolk and Madison, in southern Pierce County, and in Wayne County. Wozniak says the extreme drought caused water levels to decline significantly in many livestock and domestic wells, as well as irrigation wells. He says that is not unusual during irrigation season, but this year's declines were worse than in normal years, and longer lasting. The NRD subcommittee members voted to hold another public hearing on the issue on January 17th.