Nebraska Cost-Share Programs for Irrigation Management Tools
With spring finally here, it's time for irrigators to check out cost-share programs and consider investing in additional tools to improve irrigation management. ETgages (atmometers), soil water sensors, and other equipment can provide valuable information to make informed decisions. Many of Nebraska's Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) have programs to assist with equipment purchases.
The Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network (NAWMN), which has been using these tools since 2005, has expanded from 15 growers in the Upper Big Blue NRD to over 1,100 participants statewide.
At the annual NAWMN Conference in February, Rod DeBuhr, Upper Big Blue NRD water manager, shared astatewide summary of NRD cost-share programs. Sixteen NRDs offer assistance for equipment: Central Platte, Little Blue, Lower Big Blue, Lower Elkhorn, Lower Platte North, Lower Platte South, Lower Republican, Middle Republican, Nemaha, North Platte, South Platte, Tri-Basin, Upper Niobrara White, Upper Republican, Upper Big Blue, and the Twin Platte.
The programs vary widely between NRDs, so it's important to check with them or your area NRCS field office for more information.
DeBuhr also shared a map of statewide efforts by Nebraska's 23 NRDs to manage its water resource. The map covers:
- Flowmeter Requirements
- Well Drilling Moratorium
- Required Water Use Reports
- Rainfall Yearly Average
The map, which shows restrictions on groundwater irrigation in Nebraska, is intended for general reference only. Rules and regulalations specific to districts and sub-areas are established and changed by a locally elected board of directors for each NRD. Not all regulations pertaining to water management are represented on this map. Please contact your local NRD to obtain the most current rules and regulations for your district. A list of Nebraska NRD water programs can be found at: http://www.nrdnet.org/. (Click on the "NRD Programs" tab and select "Water.")
- Summary of NRD cost-share, by district, for irrigation management tools
- NRD Groundwater Regulations Across Nebraska (Source: Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District, York)
- Find your NRD
- Agricultural irrigation section of Water.unl.edu
Extension Educator, York County
March 21, 2014