Low-Flying Helicopter – Not to Alarm Public

The Papio NRD and ENWRA (Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Commission) have low-flying helicopter flights taking place in late June and July over Eastern Nebraska to collect and record geologic measurements to learn more about buried aquifers. We want to public to be aware so they will not be alarmed if they see a helicopter mounted with instruments in their area.

Below is a news release from ENWRA with more information.

Eastern Nebraska residents should not be alarmed if they see a low-flying helicopter over areas of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (P-MRNRD) in June and July.

Beginning in late June and lasting approximately two to three weeks, instruments mounted below a helicopter will collect and record geologic measurements to learn more about buried aquifers (glacial sands and gravels, sandstones and other water-bearing materials).  The P-MRNRD and other members of the Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA), a coalition of six NRDs in the eastern third of Nebraska, have planned the flights with help from the Nebraska Water Sustainability Fund, through the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission.  According to Katie Cameron, coordinator of ENWRA, “The flights will improve our understanding of available ground water and its possible connections with surface water in an area of the state made more complex by the presence of glacial deposits.”

Aqua Geo Frameworks (AGF), of Mitchell, Nebraska will oversee the flights, process data and produce a final report.  The equipment can collect data at a speed of more than 50 miles per hour and explore to a depth of more than 700 feet below the ground surface.  The helicopter will fly over parts of Dakota, Thurston, Burt, Washington, Douglas, and northwestern Sarpy Counties within the P-MRNRD.   Cameron said the flights will be a continuation of ENWRA flights conducted during summer 2016 and will focus with more detail on several areas within the P-MRNRD.  Scientific equipment is towed about 100 feet below the helicopter in a ‘spider web’ array and is designed to map geologic structures beneath the surface of the earth.  The helicopter will be manned by experienced pilots specially trained for low-level flying with this equipment.  Similar flights have been made across Nebraska since 2007, according to Cameron, as NRDs seek to better understand and manage ground water resources.

For more information, please contact:

Contact:
Katie Cameron, PG
UNL Survey Hydrogeologist / ENWRA Coordinator
PH: (402) 476-2729

PH: (402) 419-4798 cell
kcameron_enwra@lpsnrd.org
www.enwra.org

 

Public Hearings for New Groundwater Management Plan

Three public hearings are scheduled across the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (P-MRNRD) to gather community feedback on the District’s new Groundwater Management Plan.

The current P-MRNRD Groundwater Management Plan for the six-county NRD area including Sarpy, Douglas, Washington, and Dakota Counties plus the eastern portions of Burt and Thurston Counties in Nebraska, acknowledged a lack of existing information about groundwater quantity and quality. Since 1994, P-MRNRD has gathered a significant amount of hydrogeologic information on the distribution of groundwater aquifers across the district. Furthermore, with over 30 years of groundwater monitoring data, information on specific areas within the district with water quantity and quality issues have been identified.

Topics to be discussed at the public hearings include:

– Who would be affected?
– Proposed rules and regulations
– What are the benefits of the new plan?
– What would change?
– What portions of the District may be designated as a Groundwater Management Area?

More than 750,000 people live in the Papio-Missouri River NRD area and many rely on clean groundwater as their drinking water supply, for irrigation, and various industrial uses. The new Groundwater Management Plan has been prepared with more recent data, as well as input from stakeholders across the District who represented groundwater users in the NRD. The new Groundwater Management Plan is expected to replace the existing plan.

Public Hearings

The public hearings in Dakota City, Tekamah, and Omaha are scheduled as follows:

  • November 30, 2017 @ 6:30 p.m. – Dakota City Field Office, 1505 Broadway, Dakota City, NE
  • December 7, 2017 @ 6:30 p.m. – First Northeast Bank of Nebraska, 2nd Floor Conference Room, 448 South 13th Street, Tekamah, NE
  • December 14, 2017 @ 7:00 p.m. – Natural Resources Center, 8901 S. 154th Street, Omaha, NE
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