Focus On Water Division
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
Standard Operating Procedure

Water Quality Division
Water Quality Assessment Section - GW

Standard Operating Procedure Number GW-010
Title: Groundwater Management Area (GWMA) Study Requests
Written Date: September 1, 2000
Approved Date:

Purpose: To ensure that requests for GWMA studies are handled in a uniform, efficient, and defensible manner.

Equipment/Materials Needed:
  • Request from a local governmental unit (NRD, city, county, etc.) for consideration as a GWMA
  • Background ground water quality information
  • Copy of appropriate NRD’s Ground Water Management Plan

1. Request from local government
1.1. Discuss request with Unit & Section Supervisors and whatever member(s) of upper management they recommend.
1.2. Attempt to meet w/ affected NRD(s), other resource agencies (e.g. USDA, UNL, etc.) to discuss nature/scope of request, preferably a few weeks/months prior to formal request.
1.3. If it’s not possible to arrange this meeting beforehand, schedule a similar meeting as soon as possible after receipt of request.
1.4. OPTIONAL: Draft news release describing the study area, reasons for study, and basics of the GWMA program
1.4.1. Submit draft to PIO for formatting.
1.4.2. Get approval of cooperating NRD(s), Unit & Section Supervisors, Assistant Director, and Director (if necessary)
1.4.3. Ensure that PIO sends out news release.
1.5. Notify 319 program staff of request if they’re not already aware.
2. NDEQ initiation (without local request)
2.1. Assemble data indicating need for GWMA study.
2.2. Discuss need for independent initiation of GWMA study with Unit & Section supervisors, Assistant Director, and Director.
2.3. Notify involved NRD(s) as soon as possible after Director’s decision to study.
2.4. Attempt to schedule meeting with involved NRD(s) and other resource agencies as soon as possible.
2.5. Proceed to #1.4 and 1.5.
3. Prioritization of multiple study requests/needs
3.1. In the event study requests/needs exceed available resources in a given year, prioritize study events according to the following general criteria:
3.1.1. Existing water quality (data from NRD, public water supply systems, etc.)
3.1.2. Vulnerability of area/likelihood of further contamination (based on irrigation development, natural vulnerability, etc.)
3.1.3. Ability/willingness of local entities to deal with the problem (based upon NRD GWMP, etc.)
4. General timeframe for studies
4.1. Discussion, meetings, gathering of existing data: fall and winter months
4.2. Prioritization: late winter/early spring
4.3. Decision on study areas; notification of affected NRD(s): approximately May 1 (preferably sooner)
4.4. Sampling activities: weather dependent, but usually approximately July 1-September 1 (this applies to mass sampling of irrigation wells, which is typical for GWMA studies. Other study types/activities may have different time frames)
4.5. Data evaluation, report writing: fall and winter months (see SOP # GW-160)
4.6. Final report: approximately April 1 (see SOP # GW-160)