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Fischer Welcomes Federal Dollars for Water Infrastructure
Nebraska Ag Connection - 05/19/2022

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Wednesday welcomed the announcement from the Bureau of Reclamation (BoR) that the Lower Republican Natural Resources District will receive $2 million in funding from the infrastructure law for projects to improve water efficiency. Senator Fischer supported the legislation, which makes critical investments in core infrastructure.

"It's exciting to see this investment from the infrastructure law come to Nebraska. Through these key water efficiency projects, the Lower Republican Natural Resources District will be able to improve irrigation and save more water resources. That's good news for farmers, property taxpayers, and the environment," said Senator Fischer.

The Lower Republican Natural Resources District, located in southern Nebraska, will install near real-time telemetry equipment on 1,057 irrigation flow meters and other water management sensors for improved on-farm water management and reporting. Eight solar-powered weather stations with telemetry will be installed across the District to collect evapotranspiration data that will be broadcast to all irrigators in the project area to inform irrigation scheduling.

Currently, groundwater that is overapplied for irrigation is lost to deep percolation from the crop root zone and runoff. The project is expected to result in water savings of 4,110 acre-feet annually by making seasonal timing of irrigation water application closer to the needs of the crops and by improving water application efficiency. Groundwater that is conserved as a result of this project will remain in the local aquifer to maintain groundwater levels for future irrigation events and improve discharge for baseflow in the Republican River.

The project will receive a federal investment of $2,000,000 with a total project cost of $4,360,858. The federal funds will be met with funds from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and the Lower Republican Natural Resources District.

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