The closing of a central Nebraska irrigation canal should help boost the flow of water in the Platte River and improve habitat for endangered species.
The Central Platte Natural Resources District said Wednesday it is nearly done with a plan to buy water rights for the Six Mile Canal near Gothenburg. The canal is being filled in with dirt and retired after 116 years of use.
The project is expected to return an average of 2,377 acre-feet of water to the Platte River annually. An acre foot is the volume of water needed to cover an acre of land to a depth of 1 foot.
More than 30 land owners agreed to sell their rights to water from the canal and convert their farming operations over to groundwater irrigation.