Transfer Irrigated Acres

The stay on transfers was ended by a vote of the LLNRD Board of Directors, during their meeting on December 19, 2013. Landowners must now follow a process established by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to determine if land is highly erodible.

This criteria should help to diminish soil erosion issues with regard to farming on slopes and hillsides.

The first step for a landowner seeking a transfer of irrigated acres is the Highly Erodible Land (HEL) determination from NRCS. If the land is found to be highly erodible, a conservation plan must be written for the parcel, establishing what conservation practices must be put in place for compliance. Once the plan is established, the landowner must remain in compliance or face the possibility of loss of irrigation.

Once completed, copies of the HEL determination and the conservation plan must be submitted to the NRD. A title search must be completed on both the parcel of land receiving the irrigated acres and the one from which the acres come. A $300 fee for the transfer must be submitted.

Parcels of land upon which a lien has been placed will require approval of the action by the lien holder. The landowners must also sign an agreement approving the transfer, the land parcels must be recertified for the current irrigated acres, and any conservation plan developed will be attached to the deed for the land.

For more information, please refer to the Groundwater Certified Irrigated Acres Transfer Process list

The Irrigated Acres Transfer form is also available. 

Any landowner interested in transferring irrigated acres from one location to another must first consider the drainage basin and stream depletion factor information for both locations.

The following links go to maps to help a producer better understand information regarding transferring water rights within the District.  The first map shows the specific drainages the LLNRD considers when determining whether a transfer is feasible.  The primary drainages across the LLNRD have a two mile buffer around the hydrological unit designated by the USGS.  This buffer accounts for some of the potential impacts from groundwater pumping on each of the streams.  Transfers are only allowed downstream with the same drainage.

River Basin Map Used for Transfers

Another criterion used by the District is Stream Depletion Factor (SDF).  SDF was created from the Elkhorn-Loup Model.  The number shown is the percentage of impact the pumping of a theoretical well in each section would have on the baseflow to a stream over a 50-year time period.  The closer a section is to a stream, the higher the impact.  The state utilizes the "10% over a 50-year time period" as a baseline for water management criteria.

Stream Depletion Factor Map

A table has been provided for use in determining both the drainage basin of each section as well as its average SDF value.  Use the property's legal description to determine its basin and SDF information.

Drainage/SDF Chart

Data can be accessed by utilizing the Section/Township/Range for each property.