Flow Meter Installation Requirement for Water Quantity Management Sub-Areas 18 & 20 – February 2024

February 21 2024

  On January 25, 2024, the Lower Loup NRD Board of Directors voted to designate Water Management Areas 18 and 20 as Water Quantity Management Sub-Areas. In 2023, Areas 18 and 20 triggered the Lower Loup NRD’s Drought Management Plan’s Severe Drought Management Actions based on 1) the U.S. Drought Monitor Status listing the Areas as greater than 50% Severe Drought and 2) greater than 50% of Areas’ static groundwater levels within the drought zones at or below 10% of the Areas’ wells 25-year historical static water level range. As a result, flow meters are required to be installed on all irrigation water sources used for row-crop farming within these Areas by February 2026.

   The Lower Loup NRD is offering cost-share assistance for the installation of flow meters within the newly designated Water Quantity Management Sub-Areas 18 and 20. The Lower Loup NRD is offering 50% cost-share of the flow meter installation costs up to $2,000 per field. This cost-share covers the purchase of a flow meter, flow conditioners, straightening veins, check valves, and canopy covers. Flow conditioners and/or straightening veins are needed at any site that has less than 10 pipe diameters of uninterrupted linear flow. All meters must have a totalizer that reads in Acre-Inches, an anti-reverse mechanism, and an overrun bearing.  The meter must be installed by a certified contractor and only meters that are included on the Lower Loup NRD’s approved flow meter list will be considered. Pipe conditions are very important for correct installation, please be aware that plastic or thin-walled aluminum gravity pipe will not meet specifications.

   A flow meter will be required on each irrigated field within these areas. For example, a field equipped with a pivot and gravity irrigation will require a flow meter on each system to account for the difference in irrigation.

   Flow meter cost-share must be approved prior to equipment purchase and installation, and all work must be completed within nine (9) months of the approval date. Once complete, paid receipts for the flow meter purchase and installation with the field description indicated must be submitted. A Lower Loup NRD field technician must inspect the flow meter for installation certification and be allowed access to the meter for periodic inspection, verification of irrigation totals, and maintenance. The Lower Loup NRD will be responsible for maintenance of the cost-shared flow meter and will cover any maintenance costs under $25. If you have any questions, contact the Lower Loup NRD at (308) 728-3221.

Approved LLNRD Drought Management Plan: click here:

Flow Meter Cost-share Form: click here:

LLNRD Approved Flow Meter List: click here:

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