The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources has temporarily revoked the permits of Nebraska Farmer who use the Big Blue River for irrigation. The notification states that effective July 9 at 8 a.m., nobody with a permit issued after Nov. 1, 1968 may irrigate from the river until water levels increase.
Keith Paulsen, field office supervisor with the Department of Natural Resources, explained that the date is because of a Nebraska-Kansas agreement for water flow from the river that was approved in 1970, grandfathering prior permit holders the right to continue to irrigate. The treaty states that the amount of river flow that needs to pass into Kansas is 80 cubic feet per second. On Tuesday the water flow at Barneston was 53 cubic feet per second.
Regularly updated river levels can be found online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?id=ww_current