Nebraska Environmental Trust Grant Approved for Aquifer Project

Nebraska Environmental Trust Grant Approved for Aquifer Project

Nemaha Natural Resources District officials have announced the approval of a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust which will provide $169,000 for the “Nemaha Basin Critical Aquifer Assessment Project.” The Trust Board announced the funding at its meeting on April 5, 2018, in Lincoln. This project is one of 105 projects receiving over $18 million in grant awards from the Trust this year (66 were new applications, and 39 are carry-over projects).
      The Nemaha Basin Critical Aquifer Assessment is an effort to better understand three critical aquifers that support drinking water supplies and agriculture in the Nemaha River Basin. Led by the NNRD, the project has three primary components and includes several partner communities and resource agencies. A monitoring well component includes installation of at least 20 wells, which will combine long-term water monitoring benefits with information needed to refine and/or establish new management areas or sub-areas for better groundwater management.
      The Public Water System Well Enhancement component will provide pressure transducers for system wells to collect continuous water level data and assist with well management. A goal of this component is to encourage greater use of continuous read monitoring equipment versus the historic method of periodic manual measurements while building a stronger working relationship with all public water suppliers.
      A third Little Nemaha River Alluvial Aquifer Recharge component involves a partnership with the City of Auburn to install monitoring wells for collecting data and assessing alternatives for groundwater recharge using excess flows in perennial streams and enhancing wetlands. This component will focus on the alluvial aquifer along the Little Nemaha River which supplies the community’s 11 wells.
      Total cost of this three-part project is $318,000 with the Trust funding $169,000 and the balance contributed by the District, City of Auburn, and the Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment group. The project will be completed in one year.
      The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $289 million in grants to more than 2,000 projects across the state. Nemaha NRD citizens have benefited directly from a variety of Trust funded projects over the years. Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers, and businesses – may apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality, and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect, and restore our natural resources for future generations.