Another Year Of Drought Ahead?

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and others are voicing their concerns about the possibility of another year of drought in the state.

Heineman spoke Friday at the Nebraska Farmers Union annual convention in Grand Island. Heineman says Nebraska is the most irrigated state in the nation for crop production, which helped the state manage this year's record drought. But he says he worries what will happen if drought continues into next summer.

The Republican governor says there will be a "great deal of tension ... between agriculture users of water resources, businesses and cities" if drought continues.

John Pollack, a retired meteorologist for the National Weather Service, predicted the weather extremes Nebraska has seen during the last two years are going to become more common.

Officials are continuing to prepare for dry conditions in the Republican River Basin next year.

The state Department of Natural Resources said it's updating and refining its forecast for conservation measures. That includes reassigning staff resources.

The agency also says it's looking into possibly re-regulating flows in the Harlan County Reservoir that would otherwise be required to pass downstream into Kansas.

The agency forecasts that approximately 20,000 acre-feet of water will need to be put into streams in the basin to prevent potential overuse.

The final forecast for the river is due out at the end of the year.

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