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Irrigators accused of bypassing meters

Thursday, June 10, 2010

IMPERIAL, Nebraska -- The Upper Republican Natural Resources District, based in Imperial, Nebraska, will issue cease-and-desist orders to at least three landowners for violations of water meter rules and regulations.

The Imperial Republican newspaper reported that an investigation by the URNRD staff has revealed that about 25 center pivots have been equipped with pipe and metering designs that allow irrigation water to partially bypass meters. The meters are required by the NRD to accurately measure the amount of groundwater pumped in the district.

Alleged violations were the topic of a special URNRD meeting June 3.

Following that meeting and a two-hour closed session, Jasper Fanning, director of the URNRD, declined to release names of the landowners until each has been served with notices sent by certified mail.

Fanning told Imperial Republican publisher Russ Pankonin that some of the violations, such as improper meter spacing or calibration, are less serious than bypassing water meters.

Fanning said the district's rules and regulations, along with state statute, empower the URNRD board of directors to strip water allocations from a property, in part or in whole, and/or de-certify irrigated acres, in part or in whole.

Fanning told the Republican that the investigation continues, while other means, such as electrical usage, may be used to determine how much water was actually pumped at the wells involved.

Fanning said that landowners involved have been working with the NRD to bring their wells into compliance. The minutes of the special meeting indicate that landowners have the opportunity to agree to remedies or request a formal adjudicatory hearing. Landowners will have 10 days to comply or provide the NRD with their plan(s) to come into compliance.

Despite their cooperation, landowners may still face additional sanctions or penalties, the Republican reports.

Fanning told Pankonin that the cease-and-desist orders also apply to renters of affected properties.

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Some laws need enforced and farmers, fined and shut down when they violate!!

Many of them brag about having all of the water they want.

It will be intersting too see the names of the farmers, BUT I will wait too see the names when released!!

Maybe it isn't the trees and and the dry weather cycles that is causing Enders lake not too fill up!!!!

Could it be some greedy farmers that brag about what they are doing???

I hope the NRD and Fanning keeps looking for more of the farmers!!!

-- Posted by Just a reader on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 4:36 PM

Sadly, nothing will come of this. The NRD board member are elected officials, and entire focus of their jobs is to keep the irrigators, especially the big ones, happy.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 5:21 PM

In reply to "just a reader". Yes please find and round up all the farmers and execute them. for using the water that is under their land. Or maybe we should just illegally tax and fine them for use of their water. I hope all farmers go out and knock off the meter and tell the NRD where they can put it.

-- Posted by mjl on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 6:46 PM

Water is not owned by anyone.

It is part of the commons to be enjoyed and maintained by all.

-- Posted by fireworks1 on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 8:42 PM

YOU are right CPB!!!!!! Nothing will be done until the water is gone and then they will say, I wonder where it went.

Is it under their land mjl or is it flowing there from the Ogallala aquifer?

When you dont have any water left maybe you will change your mind!!!

You sound like some of the greedy, wasteful farmers that don't think about tommorrow.

-- Posted by Just a reader on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 9:24 PM

I would say the majority of farmers are in compliance and do care about the environment that they will leave for the younger generations.

-- Posted by blueCollarWorker on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 7:56 AM

Most farmers abide by the law. The violators names should be made public.

-- Posted by dennis on Mon, Jun 14, 2010, at 9:23 PM

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