ALMA – The Lower Republican Natural Resources District has changed its rules to give farmers more flexibility in abiding by irrigation water rations and pumping caps.
Meeting here Thursday, the district’s board of directors voted to let landowners put various tracts of land together in a “pool” for compliance purposes, so they can pump less water onto some acres in order to pump more onto others and still avoid running afoul of district groundwater management rules and regulations.
All the pooling guidelines are contained in Rule 7.6, which is a brand-new addition to the rules and regulations.
“I think this is a tool that will allow us to be the most efficient with our water and maximize our yields,” said Director Clark Andrews of Holbrook.
Some board members worried openly, however, about whether the pooling provision might hurt efforts to reduce overall pumping in the Lower Republican district and keep the district in compliance with its current Integrated Water Resources Management Plan — a document the board adopted jointly with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.