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      A Packed House at Central District's Water Users Meeting

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      Water usage is a hot topic for many in the area, especiallyfor many area farmers.

      Water and agriculture go hand in hand but is needed for lifeto survive in general, and the ways of sustaining that water supply foreveryone continues to be a main focus at meetings like yesterday's centraldistrict water users meeting in Holdrege.

      Outlook for irrigation was a main topic of discussion.

      Last year allocations between North Platte and Minden wereclose to 10 inches.

      This year the outlook is expected to be about 9 inches.

      The area is allowed 15 inches at most, but since Lake McConaughyis lower this year they planned to use less.

      "It's just not in Lake McConaughy. We want to have it besustainable so we can use some this year and some again next year and hopethings improve with rainfall and drought conditions. So yes we are willinglylimiting ourselves to nine inches of surface water this year," said Dave Dahlgren, President of the Central District Water Users.

      It was a packed house for the meeting.

      Local central irrigation customers were all invited toattend, as well as ask questions in regard to subject matter that can becomecomplex for many.

      Officials say it's important for customers to understand thematters at hand.

      As things are always changing when it comes it water.

      "The only thing that is certain is change. And the waterissues keep changing. The amount of water keeps changing, where it goes keepschanging. It's all about staking out your claim to the sustainability of thatwater," said Dahlgren.

      Other issues such as progression of the J-2 regulatingreservoir project and the complete report on the study of the groundwater moundbeneath central's service area were also highly covered topics.

      Officials say more allocations for irrigation may still beused if water rises this spring, and that thankfully farmers are becoming moreefficient with their techniques in regards to water usage.

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