Bazile Groundwater Management Project

The Bazile Groundwater Management Area (BGMA) comprises of four NRDs including Lewis and Clark NRD, Lower Elkhorn NRD, Lower Niobrara NRD, and the Upper Elkhorn NRD. Within these four NRDs, contains three counties: Antelope, Knox and Pierce and the towns of Brunswick, Creighton, Orchard, Osmond, Plainview, Royal, Wausa, and Winnetoon. The Bazile GWMA was started by local producers and the NRDs to address rising nitrate levels in area communities and domestic wells. Currently, Creighton, Orchard, and Osmond are under an administrative order for high nitrate concentrations in public drinking water. To address these issues, the NRDs along with local stakeholders from the BGMA, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, and the Nebraska Environmental Trust and additional agencies have worked together to create a master plan for the BGMA. Grant funding has been obtained to provide cost-share assistance to producers in the area for best management practices (BMPs) such as vadose zone soil sampling, crop tissue analysis and flow meter installation. The Bazile Creek watershed has been listed as an impaired watershed due to high levels of nitrate in the groundwater and has qualified for special National Water Quality Initiative funding through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Through this NRCS program, producers can obtain funding for numerous BMPs such as cover crops, filter strips, and irrigation system updates.

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