(Lincoln, Neb.) — With another irrigation season ended and a new water year already under way, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) has sent out invitations to all surface water irrigation permit holders to voluntarily report their water usage during the 2017 irrigation season. This online survey helps NeDNR better project future water needs and aids in the management of the state’s water.
This initiative began with water users in the Lower Niobrara and Loup River Basins back in 2013 and has expanded every year thereafter until this year when all irrigation appropriations in the state will have the opportunity to voluntarily report their surface water usage. Water use reporting is voluntary in all areas of the state with the exception of the Republican River Basin where reporting is required under the Republican River Compact.
Since 2013, through feedback from water users, the survey has been modified to make reporting simpler while still providing important information to NeDNR.
Invitations to report water usage went out to all irrigation appropriations with the exception of canals and irrigation districts whose diversions are already recorded with gaging equipment.
Next week, every “contact” associated with an irrigation appropriation will receive a letter with a unique PIN number and instructions for them to access the online reporting application. It is important to note that though there may be many “contacts” listed for a single appropriation, only one contact associated with each appropriation can report water use for that appropriation.
As the agency responsible for overseeing the distribution and use of the state’s surface water, NeDNR is continually exploring how to better serve water users through the use of information technology. This online survey is one step being taken to enhance management and oversight of surface water throughout the state.