Water

Distribution of the 1-square-kilometer cells where irrigated land in 2012 exceeded 50 percent of the cell area (blue-green dots) in Nebraska. Pink corresponds to declining annual, while yellow corresponds to declining irrigation-season (May-July) precipitation rates over the 1979-2015 period. The brownish color marks their spatial overlap.

Research Shows Large-Scale Irrigation Reduces Local Precipitation February 28, 2018

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln researcher has shown that widespread irrigation has resulted in a net moisture loss in Nebraska, a finding that could have worldwide water conservation implications if substantiated by further research.

Read more

Pathfinder Dam
Figure 1. Pathfinder dam and reservoir on the North Platte River in central Wyoming. One of three major reservoirs for irrigation water storage and flood control for agricultural operations along the North Platte River in eastern Wyoming and the Panhandle of Nebraska. (Photo by Gary Stone)

North Platte River Surface Irrigation Projects and Power Generation January 8, 2018

An article from the Proceedings of the 2018 Nebraska Extension Crop Production Clinics on water resources for surface irrigation in the Platte River Valley.

Read more

Economics of Variable Frequency Drives for Irrigation Pumps January 8, 2018

An article from the Proceedings of the 2018 Nebraska Extension Crop Production Clinics summarizes research to evaluate variable frequency drives (VFDs) on center pivots and the most effective placement of the pressure sensor.

Read more

Snowy Moutain Range in Wyoming
Figure 1. Old Main peak in the Snowy Mountain range in south-central Wyoming. (Photos by Gary Stone)

North Platte River Basin Water Update June 1, 2017

After good precipitation over the winter and spring, most of the reservoirs in the North Platte River basin in Wyoming are at or near capacity with more snowmelt/runoff still expected.

Read more

Center pivot irrigation

Nebraska Researchers on Multi-State Team to Study Psychology of Water Use May 17, 2017

Six University of Nebraska researchers will join colleagues at Penn State University, Arizona State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS) to develop a model for engaging communities and stakeholders around issues of sustainable water use. The project will help us better understand how farmers and other water users get information and make decisions about water usage in agriculture.

Read more

Water flowing at Pathfinder Dam
Figure 1. Pathfinder Dam and Fremont Canyon on the North Platte River in Wyoming

North Platte River Water Update — US Bureau of Reclamation April 21, 2017

North Platte River water operations and deliveries are expected to be normal for the 2017 growing season with an expected demand of 1.1 million acre-feet, according to a US Bureau of Reclamation forecast presented at the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff April 19.

Read more

KU researchers conducting water tests in the field

Kansas University Research: ‘Weather Whiplash’ Triggered by Changing Climate will Degrade Midwest’s Drinking Water April 3, 2017

One consequence of global climate change is the likelihood of more extreme seesawing between drought and flood, a phenomenon dubbed “weather whiplash.” In a peer-reviewed study researchers at the University of Kansas discuss how weather whiplash in the American Midwest's agricultural regions may after water quality, forcing municipalities to seek costly remedies to provide safe drinking water to residents.

Read more

Pathfinder Reservoir Dam Overflow photo by Gary Stone
Figure 1. Overflow from Pathfinder Dam in Wyoming, part of the North Platte River Reservoir system. (Photo by Gary Stone)

Status of North Platte River Water Reservoirs February 14, 2017

I usually start reporting on river flows and water reservoirs affecting western Nebraska in early May, but with recent national news about the spillway at the Oroville Dam in California, you may be wondering about the status of snowpack water content and the reservoir levels along the North Platte River in Wyoming.

Read more

Pages