UBBNRD proposes short-term shortage solutions

YORK — A proposal to increase well-spacing restrictions in parts of the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District aims mainly to address year-to-year conflicts over seasonal water demand in those specific areas, a district official said here Wednesday.

Rod DeBuhr, water department manager for the York-based district, outlined the proposal prior to a public hearing by the district board of directors at UBBNRD headquarters.

About 25 district constituents and staff members attended the hearing along with most board members and several area news reporters.

DeBuhr said that while the NRD as a whole may be nearing the day when irrigation water is rationed to help conserve the resource, the proposal currently before the board has a narrower focus.

The intent with this proposal, DeBuhr said, is to help those areas where wells draw down the water table heavily during the summer months and interfere with each other’s operation — in some cases affecting the reliability of water for entire small towns during the hottest, driest times of the year.

“The reason for this proposal really has little or nothing to do with long-term changes in water levels or availability of water for future use,” he said.

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