A tentative agreement has been reached between the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and the Kansas Bostwick Irrigation District regarding water releases being made at Harlan County Reservoir.
If the agreement is approved, Nebraska will be able to discontinue the water releases for now. The releases of water from
Harlan County Reservoir could then possibly resume at such time that the water will be used by Kansas
Bostwick Irrigation District to supplement current irrigation water supplies or
after the 2013 irrigation season has ended.
The contract being developed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation, who operates the reservoir, would include a commitment from the irrigation district to not harm Nebraska's efforts to comply with the Republican River Compact -- which has led to many disputes between the two states.
Nebraska Department of Natural Resources Director Brian Dunnigan said, "We are
very pleased that Kansas Bostwick Irrigation District approached us willing to
implement, what we have felt all along, is a very practical solution."
"I hope this is the start of finding common
ground on water management solutions in the Republican River Basin so all water
users in the basin may benefit," added Dunnigan.
A final agreement must be reached by 5
p.m. on Friday or the required releases by Nebraska will be reinitiated.