Focus On Water Division
Groundwater Management Areas

Groundwater Management Areas

The Groundwater Management Area (GWMA) program focuses on assessing areas where groundwater problems from nonpoint source contaminants (such as agricultural chemicals) exist or are likely to exist. The Agency carries out detailed field studies to collect groundwater data, assesses the data, and determines whether a correlation exists between land use practices and any nonpoint contamination trends. The Department's conclusions and recommendations are presented at public hearings during which public comments on the study are also obtained. The Director makes a determination on whether or not to designate the study area as a Groundwater Management Area. The staff works closely with the Natural Resources District(s) (NRDs) within whose boundary the area is located throughout the investigation, designation and implementation stages. The NRDs are responsible for implementation of many aspects of this program. In fact, NRDs can designate Groundwater Management Areas acting on their own authority. In addition to the three NDEQ-designated areas, 20 NRDs have designated GWMAs within their jurisdiction. However, if an NRD does not implement a Groundwater Management Area, the Department has the responsibility of implementation. The Department reviews and comments on all proposed GWMA rules and regulations prior to public notice. The following map shows NDEQ study areas (numbers) and existing GWMAs (shaded areas).

Progress in the Groundwater Management Area Program


NDEQ GWMA Studies
1. Beatrice/DeWitt, 1988
11. N Middle Republican, 1995

2. Superior, 1988
12. Lower Republican, 1996 – 97

3. Fremont, 1988
13. E. Cheyenne Co., 1996

4. E. Upper Big Blue, 1989
14. Box Butte Co./Mirage Flats, 1998

5. Wilcox/Hildreth, 1989
15. S. Lower Elkhorn, 1999

6. York/Polk Co., 1990
16. E. Upper Loup, 2000

7. Red Willow/Hitchcock Co., 1990
17. E. Sheridan Co., 2001

8. W. Upper Big Blue, 1991
18. Humboldt, 2001

9. E Little Blue, 1992 – 94
19. Keith-Lincoln Co., 2002 – 03

10. Deuel Co., 1992
20. Bazile Triangle, 2004