Using Incentive-based Management Tools to Help Achieve Groundwater Sustainability Goals
Rimsaite's presentation will focus on agricultural groundwater markets — an incentive-based water management tool used in Nebraska that can provide flexibility and help reduce drought risk for farmers. Groundwater markets in Nebraska are highly variable across the state, and they offer lessons to other regions facing similar groundwater management challenges.
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[00:00:00.780]The following presentation
[00:00:02.250]is part of the Agronomy and Horticulture seminar series
[00:00:05.820]at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
[00:00:08.310]Thank you for joining us today, the seminar series.
[00:00:11.790]For those here at the audience and the ones online,
[00:00:14.790]we have the pleasure to introduce Renata Rimsaite.
[00:00:17.693]She's a senior management, a product manager,
[00:00:20.580]at the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute
[00:00:22.500]of the University of Nebraska
[00:00:24.930]and she's at the city also
[00:00:25.950]with the National Drought Mitigation Center
[00:00:28.620]at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
[00:00:30.420]Renata is an economist with expertise
[00:00:33.210]in water management policies.
[00:00:34.770]As an as a senior program management,
[00:00:36.840]Renata develops, manage and oversees
[00:00:39.210]program focusing in improving food and water security.
[00:00:43.860]She holds a PhD in agricultural, environmental,
[00:00:47.220]and regional economics from Pennsylvania State University.
[00:00:50.100]So with that introduction, the floor is yours and
[00:00:52.590]thank you for participating.
[00:00:55.050]Not in person. Okay.
[00:00:55.883]So thank you so much for having me.
[00:00:58.230]Thank you for such a warm introduction, too, Guillermo.
[00:01:01.320]It's so cold outside,
[00:01:02.430]so I really appreciate so that we're able to join in person.
[00:01:07.590]So yes, my name is Renata Rimsaite
[00:01:09.870]I'm senior program manager with the Daugherty Water for Food
[00:01:12.327]and National Drought Mitigation Center.
[00:01:14.160]So on two campuses and today I'll be sharing a little bit
[00:01:18.480]about my work,
[00:01:19.890]my research interest and incentive-based water management
[00:01:23.670]and how they can,
[00:01:24.600]that those management tools can be used to improve
[00:01:29.310]groundwater sustainability goals.
[00:01:31.590]So I've been
[00:01:33.660]at the, with the University of Nebraska
[00:01:35.670]system for the past three and a half years.
[00:01:40.050]As Guillermo said,
[00:01:41.160]a lot of my work is related to agricultural water policy and
[00:01:45.180]agricultural water management. Feel like I'm still,
[00:01:48.300]I'm still meeting new people.
[00:01:50.160]So let me introduce myself a little bit, a little bit more.
[00:01:54.780]So my work, as I said, is related to ag water management.
[00:01:59.010]It's related to drought, improving drought policies.
[00:02:04.320]I'm looking into water risk in different projects,
[00:02:07.770]talking with different stakeholders.
[00:02:10.021]My new project is related to sustainability
[00:02:12.480]linked to finance and agriculture.
[00:02:15.210]Most of my work that is related to agricultural water policy
[00:02:19.050]is specific to water quantity management,
[00:02:23.010]but I'm also trying to dip my toes a little bit more into
[00:02:26.040]water quality issues as well.
[00:02:27.450]And to also understand public health perspective.
[00:02:33.330]Alright, so let's, let's go into
[00:02:37.470]why we're all here today.
[00:02:41.903]so in today's seminar I'll be talking about incentive-based
[00:02:47.010]water management in Nebraska. So I'll be sharing of,
[00:02:50.490]you know, why it is important,
[00:02:52.920]why it is interesting given unique Nebraska's context,
[00:02:57.060]and also what can be learned about it in and applied in
[00:03:02.040]other regions, right?
[00:03:03.420]I think that a lot of things that are being done here in
[00:03:07.860]Nebraska can be applied to Western United States.
[00:03:10.080]So specifically, I'll be talking, I'll,
[00:03:12.090]I'll have an overview about Nebraska's agricultural water
[00:03:16.080]demand, hydrology water institutions,
[00:03:18.870]and then I'll go strictly
[00:03:23.400]straight into incentive-based
[00:03:24.660]water management. More specifically,
[00:03:26.370]I'll be talking about agricultural groundwater markets
[00:03:30.750]So that's gonna entail going over some decision process for
[00:03:34.920]buyers and sellers.
[00:03:35.880]So specifically three steps involved in that.
[00:03:38.610]And I'll be sharing lessons learned from studying
[00:03:41.730]groundwater markets in seven natural resources districts.
[00:03:49.740]So some context specific to Nebraska,
[00:03:55.470]basic facts and numbers related to irrigation.
[00:03:58.830]We are the state that has the largest irrigated acres
[00:04:04.020]in the United States, more than California,
[00:04:06.390]so about 8.6 million acres. And great majority of them,
[00:04:11.550]84% are irrigated using groundwater.
[00:04:16.260]And in fact,
[00:04:18.060]94% of that groundwater goes to agricultural water uses.
[00:04:22.110]So goes to irrigation that is being pumped through more than
[00:04:25.620]100,000 groundwater wells for irrigation through more than
[00:04:30.350]60,000 center pivots.
[00:04:34.050]And so all of that water,
[00:04:36.630]most of that water comes from the high plains aquifer.
[00:04:40.350]As you can see here in the graphic,
[00:04:44.070]we are in the northern portion of the aquifer,
[00:04:47.130]or also known as the good part of the aquifer.
[00:04:51.180]We have most,
[00:04:52.110]most of the water that is available that is stored.
[00:04:54.930]So about two thirds of storage is under Nebraska.
[00:04:58.320]And we have the best saturated thickness too compared to
[00:05:01.560]other states, especially like Kansas or Texas.
[00:05:03.930]So I think on average we,
[00:05:05.850]the saturated thickness in Nebraska is about 600 feet,
[00:05:09.090]but it can vary. It's not uniform across the state.
[00:05:13.140]It can vary from hundred feet to 1100 feet of saturated
[00:05:18.533]And that that impacts the demand for irrigation water,
[00:05:27.090]The groundwater levels haven't changed that much in Nebraska
[00:05:32.640]So since 1950s to current days that much,
[00:05:35.940]especially compared to again, Kansas or Texas.
[00:05:39.480]Of course we have a couple of places where
[00:05:45.234]that the groundwater depletion
[00:05:46.290]is more severe in others than other
[00:05:48.270]places. So as you can see, big variability, right?
[00:05:52.470]So there is a variable water
[00:05:56.790]supply availability and that
[00:05:58.500]again, that impacts the demand for irrigation water.
[00:06:03.758]Water availability varies.
[00:06:05.100]This map shows how the impact of
[00:06:07.860]average annual precipitation,
[00:06:11.040]as you can see, the rainfall can vary,
[00:06:15.357]comparing eastern portion of the state to western portion of
[00:06:19.830]as you can see in the western portion of precipitation can
[00:06:22.950]be less than 10 inches on average.
[00:06:26.070]And in the southeast it can be more than 34 inches.
[00:06:29.490]So that, again,
[00:06:30.690]that does explain the variation variability in the
[00:06:34.770]irrigation water demand.
[00:06:37.500]That also builds a case for the complexity on spatial
[00:06:42.210]hydrology in Nebraska,
[00:06:46.913]So there is lots of variability here.
[00:06:49.710]There's big hydrologic complexity
[00:06:53.790]and that requires strong
[00:06:56.010]water institutions, localized water institutions too,
[00:06:59.160]that would be capable of addressing and meeting that
[00:07:03.870]So because water availability is lower in the western
[00:07:07.440]portion of the state,
[00:07:10.020]water quantity is managed more strictly in that area.
[00:07:15.450]tools, flexible tools
[00:07:17.190]like incentive-based water management and
[00:07:19.170]water markets are more popular in that portion of the state.
[00:07:23.820]So again, there is variability, however, when droughts hit,
[00:07:27.630]so I'm talking about 2012 drought or even this year's
[00:07:34.320]farmers and water managers want to be
[00:07:36.630]better prepared for the next time a drought hits.
[00:07:39.360]So these tools,
[00:07:40.470]flexible tools become more popular across entire state,
[00:07:44.220]everybody wants to be more prepared. Also,
[00:07:47.010]it is expected that irrigation is going to increase in the
[00:07:51.000]eastern portion of the state and also going to
[00:07:53.880]Iowa and Illinois
[00:07:56.640]states that, you know,
[00:07:57.990]are producing using rain-fed
[00:08:03.660]So more strong
[00:08:08.400]water managing institutions are going to be
[00:08:10.440]needed in those areas.
[00:08:11.970]And so tools like water markets will be more popular there
[00:08:17.340]as well. So again,
[00:08:18.720]those institutions are needed in
[00:08:22.890]more and more areas.
[00:08:24.240]They currently do not do not exist.
[00:08:28.800]So groundwater in Nebraska's managed via 23
[00:08:32.910]natural resources districts that were established in 1972.
[00:08:38.070]They are managed through locally elected boards of directors
[00:08:41.310]that are prioritizing local needs.
[00:08:47.100]NRDs, they have the power to impose regulations
[00:08:50.760]and also enforce them.
[00:08:53.640]One of the mandates is ensuring long-term groundwater
[00:08:57.060]sustainability. And besides this one,
[00:08:59.130]they have 12 other responsibilities,
[00:09:05.100]The natural resources districts are primarily funded through
[00:09:08.190]local property taxes.
[00:09:09.960]Some of them also have occupational taxes as well through
[00:09:13.620]the irrigated acres.
[00:09:16.020]Tools also vary a lot across the state.
[00:09:19.890]They depend on local hydrogeology,
[00:09:22.440]and it is a mix of incentive-based and regulatory tools. So,
[00:09:28.232]and NRDs require groundwater use reports.
[00:09:34.350]they impose moratoria on well drilling and irrigated acres,
[00:09:38.460]enforce groundwater allocations,
[00:09:41.820]but also allow banking of unused allocations and
[00:09:46.830]administer and regulate groundwater transfers.
[00:09:54.950]So 18 out of 23 natural resources districts enforce
[00:10:01.100]or are ready to enforce
[00:10:03.870]groundwater allocations if
[00:10:06.870]groundwater levels reach certain levels, right?
[00:10:10.560]So, so the green NRDs that you see here in the map,
[00:10:14.520]they are the,
[00:10:15.353]the ones that are currently enforcing using the allocation
[00:10:18.630]And some NRDs, as you can see, it's gonna be entire,
[00:10:22.014]entire district. I, in other ones it's just specific,
[00:10:29.340]The yellow ones are the ones that have allocations in their
[00:10:32.850]rules and regulations specified, but they,
[00:10:34.953]they haven't met the trigger yet,
[00:10:36.600]so they haven't enforced those yet.
[00:10:38.550]And the red ones that do not have groundwater allocations in
[00:10:42.180]their rules and regulations at this point at all.
[00:10:47.370]So, and this map shows the,
[00:10:48.810]how those groundwater allocations match the groundwater
[00:10:52.635]declines over time and shows that it's,
[00:10:56.970]it's doing a pretty,
[00:10:58.140]it's a pretty, pretty good match
[00:11:01.650]I would say.
[00:11:18.742]I, I cannot explain that.
[00:11:21.097]so a lot of it is related to the groundwater recharge and
[00:11:24.180]yes, go ahead.
[00:11:25.774](indistinct question from audience)
[00:11:49.770]And then the same is happening in the,
[00:11:52.492]in the upper Republican I, I assume.
[00:11:58.500]Okay, thank you.
[00:12:00.930]I appreciate that.
[00:12:06.360]Okay, so in addition to various regulatory tools,
[00:12:10.950]allocations, as I mentioned,
[00:12:14.760]there is a variety of incentive-based water management tools
[00:12:19.080]that NRDs are, are using.
[00:12:20.700]So I did mention water markets, I mentioned the
[00:12:25.350]banking unused water allocations.
[00:12:28.110]So the way
[00:12:30.270]I like to define incentive-based water
[00:12:32.790]management, although I think it is,
[00:12:33.890]it is pretty clear what that is.
[00:12:36.060]So incentive-based water management tools are designed to
[00:12:40.200]change or motivate what our users' behavior,
[00:12:44.730]not only because it is a scientific solution or sustainable
[00:12:48.450]solution, but also because it's in their financial interest,
[00:12:52.830]right? So examples in addition to the ones that I used,
[00:12:56.550]general examples include water quality or water quantity
[00:13:02.670]So payments for watershed services,
[00:13:04.710]it can be subsidies to various technologies or techniques
[00:13:08.100]including cost share programs.
[00:13:10.350]And so all these tools are designed to provide more
[00:13:13.200]flexibility, more innovation and adaptability and
[00:13:17.970]which is, which is what is needed,
[00:13:19.920]especially when we're considering climate change.
[00:13:22.290]Adaptable solutions are usually more preferred, you know,
[00:13:27.143]when we're thinking about farmers and water managers,
[00:13:29.130]environmental engineers, policy makers,
[00:13:31.680]our government agencies, you know, various,
[00:13:34.650]various stakeholders, they usually prefer, you know,
[00:13:38.730]flexible solutions over strong state mandates
[00:13:43.560]or even big
[00:13:46.050]infrastructure projects that are usually costly,
[00:13:51.780]usually very costly, not, not always effective.
[00:13:54.720]So we're looking for, you know,
[00:13:56.160]everybody prefers those more adaptable solutions.
[00:14:02.700]So the, the most prominent example of incentive-based water
[00:14:06.270]management is water markets.
[00:14:09.060]So what is water markets? So it's a transfer,
[00:14:12.210]voluntary transfer of a water right,
[00:14:15.690]for a specified amount of water to be used in a
[00:14:20.430]specified location for a specified period.
[00:14:25.650]And that is usually done in exchange for a financial
[00:14:31.830]So it is a mechanism that allows to reallocate water into
[00:14:36.270]places and and times where it is most needed.
[00:14:39.690]So where the value of that, that water would be,
[00:14:43.680]would be highest.
[00:14:45.300]So again, it is a mechanism that
[00:14:47.550]when carefully designed could
[00:14:49.230]provide flexibility and could lower risk in agricultural
[00:14:54.000]So when, it's very important
[00:14:55.230]when we're considering drought in
[00:14:56.790]agricultural production and you know,
[00:14:59.310]having that amount of water available when it's a critical
[00:15:02.760]time to irrigate, that is, that is what producers want.
[00:15:06.990]So that, you know, ability to gain that water,
[00:15:10.380]to have that water would add very,
[00:15:13.000]would add value to producers.
[00:15:16.650]it is designed to move water from lower to higher value uses
[00:15:20.070]and without compromising urban and environmental
[00:15:25.770]In terms of moving water from lower to higher value uses,
[00:15:28.380]it is often understood when we are considering water
[00:15:32.310]transfers from agricultural to urban or environmental
[00:15:35.760]sectors. But that also happens in agriculture.
[00:15:38.550]So moving it from lower valued crop to higher valued crop,
[00:15:42.120]or again, when we're considering drought,
[00:15:44.370]that amount of water can become very valuable.
[00:15:50.220]Water transfers in general it is, or water markets,
[00:15:53.610]it's not a new tool to address water supply variability.
[00:15:57.990]It's been used for a long time.
[00:16:00.870]What makes water markets unique in Nebraska is that they've
[00:16:05.790]been active for a long time.
[00:16:07.770]They are different across the state.
[00:16:09.570]They're really variable and they're highly regulated.
[00:16:12.810]And that is pretty uncommon when we are considering
[00:16:15.090]groundwater and, and
[00:16:18.533]given that more and more places and different regions are
[00:16:21.660]considering of imposing more regulations for groundwater and
[00:16:25.800]also considering imposing
[00:16:27.750]implementing groundwater markets, I'm thinking California,
[00:16:32.250]studying from place like Nebraska studying those markets
[00:16:35.550]here could be a good idea and, and, and share those lessons.
[00:16:39.720]So that's part of the motivation of,
[00:16:41.480]of why I was curious to do that and learn about them.
[00:16:50.670]I like to think that groundwater markets or markets in
[00:16:55.020]general, they are,
[00:16:56.160]they consist of three main steps
[00:17:00.522]for buyers and sellers.
[00:17:02.460]So first of all, it is important to consider economic basis,
[00:17:06.300]right? Does it make economic sense?
[00:17:08.970]Is it gonna add value to my production if I choose to
[00:17:11.940]buy that water right?
[00:17:13.560]Or if I choose to sell it.
[00:17:15.210]So it is important to understand relative profitability
[00:17:19.110]associated with irrigated and non-irrigated land.
[00:17:22.590]So that should be the first step.
[00:17:24.980]Once that is determined,
[00:17:27.330]then it is important to understand a regulatory and enabling
[00:17:33.240]If I want to sell or buy my water right,
[00:17:35.970]can I even do that?
[00:17:37.560]Does the water law system allow me to do that?
[00:17:39.923]What is the underlying law, what are the institutions?
[00:17:42.840]Maybe there are some exceptions that will prevent me from
[00:17:45.060]doing that. Who can hold water rights,
[00:17:47.760]who can be buying from me or selling to me.
[00:17:52.050]Once it is determined that the
[00:17:54.180]institutional framework exists and
[00:17:56.160]allows for this to happen,
[00:17:58.380]I think the last step is to understand
[00:18:04.470]physical implementation process and cost associated with it.
[00:18:08.550]So this is,
[00:18:09.480]this is the part where all the transaction costs come into
[00:18:13.343]Because there are administrative fees,
[00:18:14.910]but also there is time of amount of time that is being spent
[00:18:19.560]doing that. And then there is physical infrastructure costs,
[00:18:23.633]We need to consider all the drilling wells and installing
[00:18:26.430]pipelines and, and purchasing the irrigation system,
[00:18:29.640]equipment, all these things.
[00:18:31.590]If we are buying. If we're selling,
[00:18:33.930]there are different types of decisions like
[00:18:35.970]decommissioning my water well for example.
[00:18:39.232](indistinct question from audience)
[00:18:45.614]I think the process would be important for service water
[00:18:49.110]the same steps would be important would apply for them as
[00:18:57.630]Well I do, I do not, yeah,
[00:19:00.600]that's a different topic I think a little bit, yes.
[00:19:04.980]Hard, yeah, it's hard to go there, Oregon's canal question,
[00:19:08.490]but surface. But you know, to answer your question,
[00:19:11.730]surface water transfers happen in Nebraska.
[00:19:14.490]There are quite popular, I'm,
[00:19:16.110]I'm just focusing on groundwater markets here.
[00:19:18.540]Also there are commingled water transfers.
[00:19:21.060]So it is hydrologically connected water, you know,
[00:19:23.790]mixed water, groundwater and service water.
[00:19:25.557]And that becomes really complicated. They do happen,
[00:19:29.310]but they're not frequent.
[00:19:30.990]And why it is complicated is because groundwater in Nebraska
[00:19:34.070]is managed by natural resources districts and service water
[00:19:37.920]is managed state level by the Department of Natural
[00:19:41.130]Resources and then also at the l- local level with public
[00:19:45.600]irrigation districts. And so there's lots of different,
[00:19:47.974]different engagement happens and consideration to
[00:19:52.800]make that process work.
[00:19:55.830]I'm curious about those and I might be looking into them a
[00:19:58.440]little bit later.
[00:20:01.260]Okay, so I have some, just more examples specific,
[00:20:05.040]specific to these, these steps.
[00:20:07.620]One other point that I wanted to make is that it, you know,
[00:20:10.200]considering these steps,
[00:20:11.400]it's very important to understand local context for those
[00:20:17.220]Because specific to economic basis and other steps as well,
[00:20:25.710]farmers are not making decisions in silos, right?
[00:20:28.500]They're working with lots of different stakeholders.
[00:20:31.530]So, and I'm sorry if you cannot see very well, I'll,
[00:20:35.280]I'm gonna try and and and read it.
[00:20:38.010]It seemed bigger in my screen so I apologize.
[00:20:40.710]So farmers decision making is being,
[00:20:43.800]is being influenced by different stakeholders, right?
[00:20:47.850]So I kind of group them in two, in two groups here.
[00:20:51.000]One is a agronomic support services.
[00:20:54.540]So you know, I'm thinking agricultural retailers,
[00:20:58.140]you know here the Bear, Corteva and Syngenta,
[00:21:01.920]they have influence on farmers, crop and irrigation
[00:21:04.650]consultants, data providers, climate corporation.
[00:21:10.320]And then they're indirectly influenced by different
[00:21:14.970]There are commodity and producers groups,
[00:21:17.968]Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Soybean Association,
[00:21:22.080]Farm Bureau, agricultural lending entities.
[00:21:26.430]So those are very important.
[00:21:28.170]I've learned that farmers have very strong relationships
[00:21:31.260]with their banks and of course banks care a lot about what
[00:21:34.400]what farmers do, right?
[00:21:35.940]How they manage their operations.
[00:21:38.850]So here goes farm credit and, and commercial banks,
[00:21:42.900]USDA agencies, so NRCS and also risk management agencies.
[00:21:47.940]So of course crop insurance conservation groups are
[00:21:51.450]important in Nebraska. I know the,
[00:21:52.917]the Nature Conservancy has been collaborating with,
[00:21:55.980]with farmers and also university research extension and
[00:22:01.200]Agronomists work with farmers all the time and,
[00:22:03.750]and extension researchers.
[00:22:07.572]I'm also thinking here in that category about the TAPS
[00:22:09.660]program at UNL as well.
[00:22:12.360]So again, you know, those different stakeholder groups,
[00:22:15.570]they help to make the economic basis decision like,
[00:22:18.270]is it worth for me to buy or sell the water?
[00:22:24.560]For the enabling environment
[00:22:25.650]So that's the second step and regulatory framework,
[00:22:30.990]first of all, I like, I think it is important to,
[00:22:33.510]to understand and consider the underlying water law.
[00:22:37.050]So for groundwater in Nebraska we have correlative and
[00:22:40.470]reasonable use doctrine.
[00:22:44.040]So it is no,
[00:22:45.420]this doctrine does allow separating water rights from the
[00:22:48.270]land and it can be,
[00:22:49.297]it can be transferred onto another land for use.
[00:22:54.600]Prior appropriation doctrine is for surface water.
[00:22:56.660]It is important to consider again because there are those
[00:22:59.010]commingled water transfers. So it is important to know,
[00:23:01.380]even though I'm only curious about groundwater transfers.
[00:23:05.790]At the federal level still, you know,
[00:23:07.200]if you want to understand the limits associated with
[00:23:10.172]environmental flows and endangered species,
[00:23:12.920]endangered species, there is the Endangered Species Act.
[00:23:16.860]The Nebraska legislative bill of 2004 is very significant in
[00:23:21.240]this state because it,
[00:23:23.460]it recognized legally that the water is, is connected,
[00:23:26.940]the surface water and ground water.
[00:23:29.340]And that, you know,
[00:23:30.300]that influenced the beginning of different,
[00:23:34.200]different plans like integrated management plans and basin
[00:23:36.888]basin-wide plans that are also need to be considered.
[00:23:41.070]There are multi-state agreements and also federal programs,
[00:23:44.100]right? I'm thinking about Republican River Compact,
[00:23:46.950]I'm thinking about the Platte River Recovery implementation
[00:23:50.940]They have specific rules that also need to be considered
[00:23:53.430]during the transfer process. And again, water rights orders.
[00:23:56.430]Who, who are those that you know these needs to be,
[00:23:59.460]need to be understood as well. You know,
[00:24:01.140]who can hold groundwater rights or surface water rights,
[00:24:04.380]environmental flow rights.
[00:24:07.350]For the transfer implementation,
[00:24:09.120]so this is where all the transaction costs come into play.
[00:24:13.140]Broken down specifically into administrative process and
[00:24:15.720]physical implement implementation part.
[00:24:18.480]So in administrative process, water brokers are important.
[00:24:22.200]They help to match water buyers and sellers,
[00:24:26.160]water lawyers of course, you know,
[00:24:28.260]they help them with legal advice.
[00:24:31.140]Title search report needs to be, needs to be done.
[00:24:34.260]So that's county assessors.
[00:24:36.690]I need to, I need to know who the all landholders are.
[00:24:39.900]I need to get their approval during the process. Of course,
[00:24:43.890]natural resources district districts are playing important
[00:24:49.500]in this step.
[00:24:50.490]So they are doing stream flow impact
[00:24:56.490]They issue well permits,
[00:24:59.580]they approve or deny transfers and again,
[00:25:02.820]then they work with different institutions like Department
[00:25:07.380]of Natural Resources or irrigation districts.
[00:25:09.780]If the transfer, it would be commingled water transfer.
[00:25:13.200]And then I would need to update my title at the county
[00:25:15.630]clerk's office. For physical implementation needs,
[00:25:18.947]I need to consider well drilling and pump installation
[00:25:21.480]contractors, irrigation equipment dealers,
[00:25:25.320]all the Belmont, Lindsay, Rankie,
[00:25:28.016]irrigation flow meters and also energy costs.
[00:25:30.510]How much that's gonna,
[00:25:31.500]that's gonna cost me or how much am I going going to save if
[00:25:34.500]I'm gonna, if I'm gonna sell the rights.
[00:25:41.610]I studied seven,
[00:25:42.660]I mentioned seven natural resources districts and the
[00:25:46.320]processes of water transfers in them.
[00:25:50.400]my the process doing that started with my intern a couple
[00:25:54.720]years ago and me going over the rules and regulations of the
[00:25:58.410]National Resources Districts and then reaching out to the
[00:26:02.100]staff and talking with them.
[00:26:03.360]So admittedly going over the rules and regulations isn't the
[00:26:08.250]most exciting part.
[00:26:09.390]It can get a little bit confusing too because the language
[00:26:12.810]interestingly is not consistent across the natural resources
[00:26:15.930]districts that language that they use.
[00:26:18.139]So that's, that was interesting lesson.
[00:26:20.700]However, we were able to establish some themes and you know,
[00:26:24.360]to be ready for the interviews with the,
[00:26:26.100]with the staff at the natural resources district.
[00:26:31.410]Of course we were going to ask, you know, about the,
[00:26:34.020]about the background and if we weren't going to ask,
[00:26:38.730]they were gonna tell us. 'Cause usually the interviews,
[00:26:41.070]you know, started, wait, so have you been here?
[00:26:43.680]Do you know about us? Do you know what we grow?
[00:26:46.830]Do you know how many irrigated acres we have?
[00:26:49.467]And of course those interviews were via Zoom and most of the
[00:26:52.920]places we haven't, we haven't been to.
[00:26:55.010]So it was, it was important to understand the background.
[00:26:57.360]That was the first step.
[00:26:58.920]Of course, then we got into all the nitty gritty
[00:27:00.780]related to groundwater
[00:27:01.680]transfer process, all the administrative processes,
[00:27:05.453]all the questions related to how frequent the transfers,
[00:27:07.248]transfers are, how big they are,
[00:27:11.100]types of transfers.
[00:27:12.180]Apparently there are different types of groundwater
[00:27:15.779]We also, while studying the rules and regulations,
[00:27:18.840]we noticed that some natural resources districts
[00:27:23.310]direction and transfer boundaries.
[00:27:25.890]So we wanted to ask about those and those are usually
[00:27:28.500]important when they're trying to prevent groundwater pumping
[00:27:33.090]impact onto stream flow.
[00:27:34.560]So some rules are very specific into the transfer direction,
[00:27:38.783]which direction can water be transferred and which direction
[00:27:42.960]And sometimes it specifically identifies the boundaries like
[00:27:46.920]it can go, you know, six miles into,
[00:27:48.939]into any direction for example.
[00:27:52.230]And of course we wanted to ask about other points of
[00:27:53.970]interest and things we forgot and maybe things there,
[00:27:56.100]there are other things to consider.
[00:27:57.750]And that's actually how we learned about the commingled
[00:27:59.910]water transfers, which was pretty interesting.
[00:28:03.960]Okay. And then
[00:28:05.598]all the, those interviews information
[00:28:08.700]we synthesized into two page
[00:28:11.760]we sent them back to the NRDs and share them with different
[00:28:15.720]stakeholders. So it's they're written in easy,
[00:28:18.780]easy to understand language,
[00:28:20.730]they can be accessed through these QR codes.
[00:28:23.220]So there's an applicable map and then you can access those
[00:28:26.070]infographics if you are, if you're curious.
[00:28:31.688]So going to the main
[00:28:37.980]there are different types.
[00:28:39.750]Two main types of of transfers.
[00:28:41.730]Groundwater transfers in Nebraska,
[00:28:47.430]Water transfer constitutes transfer of a property right.
[00:28:53.730]So it is, (coughs) excuse me,
[00:28:56.940]locally it is usually understood as a transfer of
[00:29:02.190]certified irrigated acres
[00:29:04.800]and a certified irrigated acre is an acre of
[00:29:08.730]agricultural land that has a documented use of water on it.
[00:29:12.750]So for example,
[00:29:13.583]if I am selling my certified irrigated acres to somebody,
[00:29:17.520]it means that I cannot use water on them anymore.
[00:29:21.420]So I need to de-certify them.
[00:29:22.800]It is a process and also that is usually followed by having
[00:29:26.580]to decommission your water well.
[00:29:31.080]For the informal transfers and there are different types of
[00:29:36.600]they do not involve the transfer of the property right.
[00:29:40.230]The most popular type of informal transfers is understood as
[00:29:45.990]So it's a joint operation of multiple irrigated tracts.
[00:29:52.747]people do not like to think of pooling as water transfers.
[00:29:57.870]They usually describe them as just common allocation
[00:30:01.710]management within an area, right?
[00:30:05.130]But if we're thinking about it, if there is a,
[00:30:08.400]a pool of water wells, right?
[00:30:11.430]And some of them are using more water than their individual
[00:30:15.870]allowance and others are reducing by that amount, right?
[00:30:20.640]Then there is a transfer of water
[00:30:25.170]for a specified amount in
[00:30:26.910]a specified location and for a specific specific purpose.
[00:30:30.990]So it is, it is a transfer of of a water right.
[00:30:35.490]A different type of informal transfer is
[00:30:39.780]pumping groundwater onto a neighboring parcel.
[00:30:42.480]So when there's a well on one parcel and you're pumping and
[00:30:45.360]applying that water parcel,
[00:30:47.821]sometimes requirements include that it would be under a
[00:30:50.730]different different ownership.
[00:30:54.210]Most of the natural resources districts have regulatory
[00:30:58.260]process for both types of transfers.
[00:31:01.080]I think from the ones that I studied, only
[00:31:05.280]central Platte and Twin Platte
[00:31:06.660]did not have informal transfers
[00:31:09.870]and upper, upper Big Blue didn't have formal transfers.
[00:31:14.850]But they do have I think three types of different pooling
[00:31:18.900]So that is pretty complex and interesting as well.
[00:31:21.810]Administrative process as you can guess is much simpler for
[00:31:26.310]It is cheaper and it does not constitute the analysis
[00:31:31.170]specific to the impact on stream flows.
[00:31:39.300]In talking about stream flow analysis,
[00:31:43.380]there are different environmental and conservation goals in
[00:31:46.620]Nebraska and they
[00:31:49.260]as a result,
[00:31:50.093]they differently impact the decision making about approving
[00:31:54.150]water transfers or not approving them.
[00:31:57.150]So in addition to the statutory responsibility to ensure
[00:32:01.410]long-term groundwater sustainability,
[00:32:03.630]some natural resources districts are also accountable based
[00:32:08.580]on interstate agreements.
[00:32:12.240]They're accountable for the pumping impact on stream flows
[00:32:15.870]and so they need to manage that water more carefully.
[00:32:19.830]And those, those acts, as I said,
[00:32:22.230]they are interstate agreements,
[00:32:24.540]some federal endangered species programs like the Platte
[00:32:27.150]River Recovery implementation program.
[00:32:29.880]And so they do 50 year
[00:32:35.310]stream flow impact analysis.
[00:32:37.980]Generally the idea is that the transfer wouldn't go to the
[00:32:41.460]area that has a higher stream flow depletion.
[00:32:45.690]So the rule is most NRDs require for there not to be a net
[00:32:50.850]increase in stream depletion.
[00:32:53.460]Other NRDs require no net change in
[00:32:55.470]stream flow depletion and
[00:32:56.790]there are rules that that can account for that.
[00:32:59.070]So then the transfer becomes not not one to one ratio,
[00:33:02.150]it it can be adjusted at the, the volume of water.
[00:33:07.680]The process is different for formal and informal transfers.
[00:33:11.910]As I said,
[00:33:12.810]there are no stream flow analysis for informal transfers
[00:33:18.690]in terms of transfer directions and transfer boundaries as I
[00:33:22.020]mentioned, some of them can be very specific.
[00:33:24.210]So it would indicate that a transfer can go you know,
[00:33:27.300]six miles any direction and other times it would be very
[00:33:34.590]specifications like the transfer cannot happen from one
[00:33:36.990]river basin to another river basin or it can happen only
[00:33:41.670]within the fully appropriated a area or only within
[00:33:47.250]over appropriated area or from over appropriated
[00:33:50.610]to fully appropriated but
[00:33:51.990]not, not vice versa and things like that.
[00:33:54.900]So they are very variable.
[00:33:57.600]For informal transfers there,
[00:34:01.200]just a few,
[00:34:03.090]there are a few rules specific to transfer direction and
[00:34:08.910]I think there wasn't in one NRD that it can must happen
[00:34:12.720]within a three mile boundary.
[00:34:17.310]Others specify whether it, it has to be, you know,
[00:34:20.640]done into contiguous fields or whether, you know,
[00:34:23.340]these fields need to be adjacent or not adjacent.
[00:34:32.730]So those are very important 'cause they can
[00:34:35.550]or disincentivize transfers a lot.
[00:34:39.660]So for formal transfers there's a
[00:34:43.830]big variation for the
[00:34:44.880]transfer impact analysis fee,
[00:34:47.460]it can be $0 in some natural resources district and it can
[00:34:50.970]reach $10,000 in others.
[00:34:53.610]Specifically that amount is in North Platte
[00:34:56.430]natural resources district. For the application,
[00:35:00.060]administrative application fee it again,
[00:35:02.370]it can vary from zero to $20 and
[00:35:06.090]then to $200.
[00:35:08.760]There are additional title search costs
[00:35:11.970]and they are higher if you know you need to go to
[00:35:15.553]a different county to search for your
[00:35:17.640]title. And then again,
[00:35:18.960]the physical implementation cause that I mention, right,
[00:35:22.110]the, the well drilling, the pipe installation,
[00:35:25.650]the irrigation equipment, things like that.
[00:35:28.800]For informal transfers, there are no, no such costs there.
[00:35:32.940]In general the transaction costs are much much lower.
[00:35:40.560]So as you can see there's lots of variability and it,
[00:35:42.810]and it continues, you know,
[00:35:44.370]also talking about transfer size and transfer frequency and
[00:35:47.610]also terminology used, which is, which is a fun one.
[00:35:50.430]Okay, so for transfer size,
[00:35:52.950]some natural resources districts require a minimum amount
[00:35:57.300]of acres to be transferred.
[00:35:58.590]So it needs to be at least a one acre or at least four
[00:36:02.760]In other natural resources districts there is no minimum
[00:36:06.690]but in practice most transfers are either seven acres or
[00:36:12.060]140 acres. And so seven would be, you know, if, if I just,
[00:36:16.860]if I need a corner for the center pivot.
[00:36:19.590]So if I want to have a full center pivot and that is missing
[00:36:23.730]and around 140 is for the full center pivot.
[00:36:27.240]If I'm installing a new
[00:36:28.290]well, putting in a new new center pivot.
[00:36:31.560]So those are the most frequent sizes of the transfers.
[00:36:37.080]For informal transfers, the size,
[00:36:38.790]it just depends on the allocation size that farmers have.
[00:36:47.070]Transfer frequency varies as well.
[00:36:49.530]For formal transfers it can be zero,
[00:36:52.530]so less than one a year.
[00:36:55.200]I think in North Platte,
[00:36:56.670]the one that had 10,000 fee for the
[00:37:00.690]impact analysis transfers were not frequent there.
[00:37:04.770]And so the reason also is that they, you know,
[00:37:06.710]it depends on the hydrology. So it is determined not,
[00:37:10.290]not safe for stream flows most of the time.
[00:37:13.140]So I think the past few few years they didn't have any ag to
[00:37:17.310]ag transfers at, at all, (clears throat) excuse me.
[00:37:22.080]In other areas it can be more than 200 transfers a year.
[00:37:25.710]In general, the frequency depends a lot on the,
[00:37:27.780]on the crop prices.
[00:37:29.430]So last year as like corn prices were increasing,
[00:37:32.910]they were seeing more and more,
[00:37:34.650]more transfers happening in those, in those districts.
[00:37:40.560]For informal transfers it might be again
[00:37:42.210]might be no transfers
[00:37:43.560]and in other areas it can be, as an example,
[00:37:46.380]35 of all wells in that district assigned into pools.
[00:37:58.410]That's just a a fun one.
[00:38:02.183]if you are thinking of researching transfers and you want to
[00:38:06.840]to know what terms to look for in the rules and regulations
[00:38:09.930]for formal transfers,
[00:38:10.830]they can be called reassigning of certified acres,
[00:38:15.240]permanent transfers of acres or just transfers,
[00:38:18.630]for informal transfers in the same rules and
[00:38:21.000]regulations. They can be called pooling as I mentioned,
[00:38:23.280]but pooling is also called preexisting allocation units or
[00:38:26.529]designated allocation units in some places.
[00:38:30.240]And also sometimes it's just called groundwater transfers.
[00:38:37.470]So these were the highlights that I wanted to share with you
[00:38:41.940]about groundwater transfers in Nebraska.
[00:38:45.030]I know I talked a lot about variability,
[00:38:47.910]but I think it is important to learn about it and what's
[00:38:51.893]especially if we're trying to implement similar markets in
[00:38:56.820]I think when designing markets or when you know,
[00:38:59.970]considering the frictions in these markets,
[00:39:02.070]it is important to understand those three steps in the
[00:39:06.660]And also it's critical to understand the local context for
[00:39:09.660]each of those steps.
[00:39:12.600]Markets in Nebraska are highly regulated,
[00:39:15.209]formal and informal and and designed to address
[00:39:20.533]locally prioritized sustainability goals.
[00:39:23.167]And so when I'm thinking, you know,
[00:39:25.080]what lessons that we're learning about those transfers
[00:39:28.170]within Nebraska could be, could be applied to other places.
[00:39:34.290]I started by talking about the complexity in
[00:39:41.730]I think that understanding local hydrology and local water
[00:39:44.850]needs needs to be done at the very beginning.
[00:39:48.030]And then in Nebraska for example,
[00:39:50.340]there were institutions that were evolving over time that
[00:39:53.313]were able to match that hydrologic complexity.
[00:39:57.960]So I think that water markets is just one tool
[00:40:02.100]in the toolbox
[00:40:03.030]that can help achieve sustainability goals and provide some
[00:40:06.270]flexibility to farmers, especially in times of, you know,
[00:40:14.880]events related to climate change.
[00:40:17.730]In terms of thinking next steps related to this project.
[00:40:20.850]So those rules that were collected are currently being used
[00:40:23.670]by my other team members and modeling and simulation
[00:40:27.330]analysis to better understand whether local water policy
[00:40:31.830]could be advanced by improving, you know,
[00:40:34.170]economic and hydrologic outcomes.
[00:40:36.720]Different, whether it could be designed a little bit
[00:40:40.260]differently so it
[00:40:41.100]it can increase farmer income but also would account
[00:40:44.250]for stream flow location.
[00:40:46.590]I'm exploring options what to do also,
[00:40:49.260]I said I'm interesting into better understanding commingled
[00:40:55.020]I don't know if I should go into more natural resources
[00:40:57.300]districts the and understand those.
[00:40:59.760]The rest of the Nebraska,
[00:41:01.950]the reason we stopped at seven is because we thought that we
[00:41:04.380]captured the variability that is happening pretty well in
[00:41:09.000]Could be going into service water transfers or just
[00:41:12.060]different, different regions
[00:41:16.290]compared to Kansas or Colorado for example.
[00:41:19.500]I don't know, you know, would be curious to hear what
[00:41:22.410]what you, if you have any suggestions or interests.
[00:41:29.100]Just want to thank you and acknowledgements
[00:41:31.770]to my team members
[00:41:32.760]and also the representatives from NRDs that I spoke with and
[00:41:37.289]couple of USDA grants.
[00:41:39.600]So let understand a little bit more
[00:41:41.880]about the sustainability
[00:41:43.537]of the whole program and the water rights regarding to the
[00:41:47.700]regulations. Are there limits
[00:41:49.799](indistinct) someone transferred to another person?
[00:41:54.780]And also are there certain periods within the year that
[00:42:00.240]these regulations are more strained than others regarding to
[00:42:03.840]like the quantity?
[00:42:06.900]So the first part of the question is about the
[00:42:11.910]limits of how much water can be can be transferred, right?
[00:42:16.080]Based on the regulations.
[00:42:17.790]So yes, there are.
[00:42:19.650]And so that would be, you know,
[00:42:21.360]in those areas where there are water groundwater allocations
[00:42:25.860]imposed so that for the allocation,
[00:42:29.632]what is a groundwater allocation?
[00:42:31.770]It is a limited volume of water that can be used over a
[00:42:36.840]multi-year period, right?
[00:42:38.460]So for example, it can be 60 inches over five years.
[00:42:43.830]And so what farmer can do during those five years, you know,
[00:42:47.850]they can use more than the average annual average or less
[00:42:51.330]than the annual average.
[00:42:52.500]And so saving that amount would provide an opportunity to
[00:42:55.380]then, you know, to transfer to somebody else.
[00:42:59.130]In other cases where there are no groundwater allocations,
[00:43:04.410]that depends on the historical water use. So how much,
[00:43:07.770]you know, on the certified irrigated acres,
[00:43:09.990]how much historical water use was,
[00:43:12.180]was used on those specific acres? I do not remember,
[00:43:16.380]you're right, the second card.
[00:43:18.441](indistinct) those limits,
[00:43:19.830]the water limits of the year.
[00:43:24.840]No, they do not.
[00:43:26.640]So those limits that, for example,
[00:43:28.140]the allocation limits the,
[00:43:30.540]they provide flexibility to farmers so they can manage that
[00:43:33.720]allocation that they have, right?
[00:43:35.580]60 inches for five years.
[00:43:37.620]They can manage it pretty flexibly. So if,
[00:43:39.990]if a farmer knows that a drought is coming, right,
[00:43:42.900]so that specific one specific year they can use more than
[00:43:46.230]the average and then, you know,
[00:43:48.600]next year less than that and, and vice versa.
[00:43:52.380]So it is allowed, you know,
[00:43:53.880]so the farmer has that in their hands basically.
[00:44:01.950]Really a good presentation that
[00:44:03.857]expanded my knowledge of the water situation in general,
[00:44:08.160]but in your next steps you listed
[00:44:14.400]Why? And what would be the mechanism to do it?
[00:44:18.540]Oh, I mentioned, I,
[00:44:20.280]I'm wondering whether I should study more than seven that I
[00:44:23.040]studied. So if I should study more, you know,
[00:44:26.670]more natural resources districts, right now I just,
[00:44:29.280]all these results were based on, on those that they,
[00:44:31.620]the seven ones that I studied.
[00:44:47.957]Regulations play a role in situations
[00:44:51.330]where heavy water use heavy irrigation down on the water
[00:44:56.399]table to a degree where
[00:45:01.207]no longer can level water, whether it's a private farm
[00:45:06.047]well or municipal well that no longer is able to reach into
[00:45:10.303]the ground water because of lowering of the water tank.
[00:45:14.617]Right, so this is, you know, that's,
[00:45:16.295]that's the beneficial use principle I think
[00:45:21.750]that is being used. So in
[00:45:26.070]in those times, for example,
[00:45:28.020]when there is a severe water shortage,
[00:45:30.180]the priority would be assigned for domestic use and then
[00:45:33.570]municipal use and then only then would be agricultural use.
[00:45:37.860]So I think your, your example sounds familiar.
[00:45:40.440]I think it happened in 2012, right?
[00:45:43.890]Right. And so in in those cases then, then, you know,
[00:45:47.520]there needs to be
[00:45:50.940]but the priority when it is a severe shortage, it's,
[00:45:53.370]it's in Nebraska, it's given to domestic users.
[00:45:57.495]Outcome typically is they have to
[00:46:01.281]grow it all steeper.
[00:46:05.400](indistinct) at their own expense.
[00:46:07.756]Has that happened then?
[00:46:09.164]Oh yeah. [Indistinct]
[00:46:18.053]Private individual farm wells,
[00:46:20.160]drinking wells type of things Yeah.
[00:46:21.960]That had the same things happened.
[00:46:24.789]And and that's probably more on the eastern portion of the
[00:46:27.767](distorted inaudible audio)
[00:46:33.810]Yeah. That that
[00:46:35.112]happens as a result. Yeah.
[00:46:37.420]Kinda related. You talked about
[00:46:41.190]variability, which I thought was really interesting
[00:46:45.480]What were the range of conditions that you
[00:46:47.963]studied the market functioning under?
[00:46:50.670]So example like with drought, you know, what kind of like,
[00:46:54.180]you watched it be under maybe extreme drought and for how
[00:46:58.073]And you also mentioned commodity prices in the same way.
[00:47:00.240]So I just wondering like what our scope of observation is
[00:47:04.290]for watching the market function under different conditions
[00:47:08.370]you talk about.
[00:47:10.770]Right, so the question was how market functions
[00:47:14.160]conditions, drought conditions and crop price conditions.
[00:47:18.510]So these findings are based only on,
[00:47:23.693]studying rules and regulations and then talking with
[00:47:26.250]representatives from natural resources districts. So,
[00:47:28.760]so general managers and and staff.
[00:47:31.170]And so those questions that you're asking, I was asking too,
[00:47:34.860]right. And so usually
[00:47:48.300]so the transfer of the water rights,
[00:47:51.060]it takes about about a half a year, the process, right?
[00:47:55.140]So usually you submit your application I think in November
[00:47:59.550]or December to be, to be able to use those,
[00:48:02.100]the water following the following year.
[00:48:05.040]So, you know, unfortunately you cannot just decide, oh,
[00:48:07.860]I'm gonna just, oh, drought is coming, right?
[00:48:09.780]It's really bad, it's gonna be really bad.
[00:48:11.460]I'm, I'm just gonna, you know, buy the water right now.
[00:48:14.520]It cannot happen in Nebraska, it happens in other places.
[00:48:16.980]There are spot markets that are happening. It does not,
[00:48:19.602]it does not happen here. So it's there,
[00:48:21.690]there needs to be a little bit more planning in advance and
[00:48:25.290]for crop prices, yes, there is, you know,
[00:48:27.060]everybody was telling me when when the crop prices are are
[00:48:29.640]lower, there is significantly less transfers happening.
[00:48:41.183]I know you can't give an exact one.
[00:48:46.817]Say I wanna, if I wanna get water,
[00:48:50.640]my neighbors to the water, the acre pivot,
[00:48:54.840]what's it gonna cost me?
[00:48:56.430]Yeah, I was waiting for a question about the,
[00:48:59.002]the prices, water markets. Talk about the prices.
[00:49:02.813]generally prices are not, not shared for those transfers.
[00:49:07.560]So it's hard to tell. In Nebraska though, I was involved in,
[00:49:10.500]in designing some leases for surface water markets.
[00:49:14.370]So with the prep program and so there was a public and,
[00:49:17.217]and those annual leases were for a hundred dollars for an
[00:49:23.130]So about, about yes.
[00:49:24.242]Well for yeah, close to acre foot, yes.
[00:49:31.500]no, compared to to, you know, California or, or,
[00:49:35.623]or Colorado. That's not much.
[00:49:37.290]But then again it's, we are growing different,
[00:49:39.480]different crops here too. Different circumstances.
[00:49:42.540]So a lot, a lot of different things come in in deciding,
[00:49:46.490]determining the value of water. Yeah.
[00:49:56.490]So usually, so those, for those leases,
[00:49:58.170]it was just marginal land that were being, you know,
[00:50:01.980]decided not to, not to irrigate.
[00:50:04.020]And so others were adding it. So I think the,
[00:50:06.360]the irrigation equipment was already on land. So those,
[00:50:09.480]those costs were like considered outside.
[00:50:17.401]Do you (distorted)
[00:50:22.890]each month these
[00:50:24.097]NRDs have a meeting. (indistinct)
[00:50:34.980]they set forth?
[00:50:36.570]Yeah. It's with (indistinct)
[00:50:42.210]meetings, you know,
[00:50:43.350]because I wanted to understand the transfer process a little
[00:50:46.107]bit more, how many are happen.
[00:50:47.940]So before in preparation for the, for the interviews,
[00:50:51.060]I wanted to know the general number of those.
[00:51:00.240]water markets can be a controversial topic too,
[00:51:03.210]in the state.
[00:51:04.290]So I think that might be a reason why pooling is not,
[00:51:07.080]is not being called water transfers too, because it's,
[00:51:10.680]it's understood differently.
[00:51:14.700]So that, you know, that's,
[00:51:15.930]that's one of the things that I noticed about transfers,
[00:51:18.810]but I haven't gotten to the meetings and might be,
[00:51:20.850]might be good, good, good thing to do.
[00:51:22.800]I go to more larger conferences.
[00:51:32.160]Oh yes, yes.
[00:51:33.330]Very important. Yes, yes, yes.
[00:51:39.767]As far as permanent transfers.
[00:51:42.831]How common are they?
[00:51:44.683]So, so it varies.
[00:51:46.370]It varies a lot.
[00:51:47.203]So it can be zero and it can be over 200 a year. It varies a
[00:51:50.460]lot. It depends.
[00:51:51.690]It depends. So it depends on the hydrology.
[00:51:53.790]So they do those,
[00:51:55.350]the impact analysis on stream flow to determine whether
[00:51:57.900]there's gonna be an influence, you know,
[00:52:00.150]from groundwater pumping onto stream flow 50 year analysis
[00:52:06.330]And, and if there isn't,
[00:52:08.310]if conditions determined to be favorable, they're allowed,
[00:52:12.840]but again, those conditions are very localized.
[00:52:14.850]So that's why in some natural resources districts there are
[00:52:17.520]more frequent than others.
[00:52:22.524]My, the analysis in North Platte NRD,
[00:52:26.010]but that stream analysis caused that much too. I was,
[00:52:29.040]I was explained that it's, it's,
[00:52:31.820]it's really unlikely that we will give the permit too.
[00:52:35.160]It's really, you know,
[00:52:36.300]it's really unlikely that there won't be any third party
[00:52:39.360]impacts or effects from that.
[00:52:43.159]North, the North Platte River,
[00:52:46.020]all the groundwater is pumped fairly shallow wells that are
[00:52:50.970]recharged by the river,
[00:52:52.650]by the canals that are in every year.
[00:52:55.710]So there's a very tight connection between
[00:53:01.460]moreso than probably the rest of state.
[00:53:03.790]Maybe not in central Platte but in,
[00:53:07.130]in North Platte when they get drought and
[00:53:09.990]they start watering,
[00:53:11.447]it's common (indistinct) wells (indistinct)
[00:53:24.003]it's it's pretty connected. So
[00:53:27.020]Yep. They do, they do have a North Platte told me
[00:53:31.230]that they do have surface water transfers.
[00:53:36.720]So City of Lincoln gets its water
[00:53:38.763]from wells underneath Platte river. Is that surface
[00:53:43.140]water or groundwater?
[00:54:00.630]Okay, I was ground water,
[00:54:03.849]water surface water.
[00:54:07.897]Well when does it actually transfer?
[00:54:15.180]So for these contracts let's say
[00:54:20.488]that I have (indistinct) to sell my rights.
[00:54:24.931]Right? So for the formal ones,
[00:54:26.692]the one that I was describing,
[00:54:27.525]they're permanent transfers.
[00:54:29.130]Those transfers are permanent. For the pooling that is
[00:54:31.350]depending on the, the allocation period.
[00:54:33.360]So it's an allocation for five years that's,
[00:54:36.562]or three years.
[00:54:38.612]And you, you can buy them back
[00:54:41.172]at some point.
[00:54:42.317]You can, it's going to be a process, right?
[00:54:45.280]From the same person
[00:54:46.682]or you can just buy 'em back from someone else?
[00:54:47.863]It does not matter.
[00:54:49.080]You could, you could buy it back.
[00:54:50.490]Everything thinking will happen
[00:54:52.762]with the NRD,
[00:54:53.790]I mean buy rights from all states (indistinct) markets.
[00:55:00.090]Right? So that's, you know, it's more common within
[00:55:03.930]There are exceptions,
[00:55:04.920]but I think those transfers are possible too.
[00:55:12.051](indistinct) question why don't I
[00:55:14.162]suggest it. I find it interesting to visit (indistinct)
[00:55:20.340]during a drilling operation.
[00:55:29.880]I want to, I want to go and see all sorts of processes.
[00:55:31.830]Yes. Thank you.
[00:55:35.484]I've got a question.
[00:55:39.106]Okay, thank you very much.
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