Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published in Cornhusker Economics, 09/19/2007. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


The amount of water that can be used for irrigation in the Republican River Basin is controlled by the Republican River Compact. On June 22, 2007 the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) presented to officials of the Republican River Basin Natural Resource District (NRD), DNR projections of future Republican River Basin water allocations to Nebraska. The DNR model (which is the official model established in the Republican River Basin Compact litigation settlement) indicates that streamflows will decrease over the next 40 years, due primarily to the impact of past and current ground water pumping. The DNR also calculated ground water allocations for irrigators within the Upper Republican NRD, the Middle Republican NRD and the Lower Republican NRD, that would allow Nebraska to stay within its allocated share of Republican River water. This newsletter explains the DNR projections and explores management options relative to implementing the DNR recommended allocations.