Well Levels Drop Between Record Years

NORFOLK - A recent report showed groundwater levels down in nearly every county in Nebraska between the spring of 2012 and the spring of 2013.  Rick Wozniak, water resource manager for the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resource District, says that holds true for this area, but it is important to remember the extreme weather patterns of the past few years.  Wozniak says 2010 was a very wet year, with flooding throughout the Elkhorn River watershed and that groundwater levels were higher than normal in the spring of 2012.  Wozniak says the NRD measures levels in 245 wells each spring and fall. Compared with the spring of 2012, levels in the spring of 2013 were down in 242 of those wells. But if the 2013 groundwater levels are compared with long-term median groundwater levels, 182 showed declines, and those declines are smaller. Sixty-three wells actually had higher water levels in the spring of 2013 than their long-term median levels.  Wozniak says the wells will be measured again in late March and early April, and that will show if there was significant recharge last year when rainfall was close to average.