Western Nebraska irrigators counting on Lake McConaughy water will have to make do with an inch less next year.
The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District board of directors voted to limit the 2014 releases from the reservoir and allow irrigators only 9 inches of surface water per acre. The deliveries will be made over a 12-week period for corn, eight weeks for soybeans.
The allocation this growing season was 10 inches. A full delivery would be up to 18 inches an acre. Officials say allocations during a drought at the beginning of the century were as low as 6.7 inches an acre.
The reservoir near Ogallala sits at 45% of capacity, with inflows far lower than normal.