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      Irrigation Water Will be Cut Back Next Year

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      With this year's historic drought, the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District had to cut back the water supply for irrigation next year.

      Each year the Central Nebraska Public Power Board of Directors discuss what next year's irrigation supply might look like. In order to maintain Lake McConaughy's levels, the board voted to limit farmers in Gosper, Phelps and Kearney counties to 10 inches of water an acre next year.

      During the 2012 irrigation season the average farmer used 11.5 inches of water per acre. Each was allowed up to 18 inches during 2012. However, if farmers continue to use that much water, it wouldn't take long to empty the reservoir.

      "Just the ability to have an irrigation system would be in jeopardy if you were to use that volume of water each year," Dave Ford , Irrigation Division manager said. "So they said we need to start cutting back and try to extend this thing out in the future."

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