Lake McConaughy At Highest Level In Seven Years

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This spring's rains have helped make the South Platte River the deepest it's been in seven years, so more water will be available for irrigators and for Lake McConaughy in western Nebraska.

Nate Nielsen, the foreman of McConaughy's dam, says farmers will be able to use water from the South Platte River longer before tapping into the lake, which is fed by the North Platte River.

Nielsen says that if the South Platte continues to flow well, the first outflows from Lake McConaughy can wait until after July Fourth.

That should help replenish the lake, which is at 54 percent of capacity. The last time the lake was that full was in 2002, before drought struck the region. Experts say the drought has ended.