Water Resources of the United States

PROJECT ALERT NOTICE (NE) Nebraska Drought Update

Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2013 14:33:35 EDT

Summary: A portion of Nebraska (6.4 percent, in the southeast corner of the state) is categorized as having no drought for the first time since July 3, 2012. Over the past 30 days, the eastern third of Nebraska has received 4-10 inches of rain, while the western panhandle and the southwest corner of the state has received only 1-4 inches of rain. This has decreased the extremity of the drought across portions of the state.

Hydrologic Conditions:
The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that drought conditions in Nebraska have improved throughout most of the state, but 93.6 percent of the state is still categorized in the range of abnormally dry to having Exceptional drought. 3.6 percent of Nebraska is in the Exceptional drought category (down from 8.7 percent as of May 1), 34.7 percent in the Extreme drought category (down from 78.2 percent on May 1), while 67.9 percent of the state remained in at least the Severe drought category (down from 96.9 percent on May 1).

Records or Milestones:
Of 60 long-term USGS streamgages (>30 years record) in Nebraska, four (or six percent) are at no flow (no significant change from the Drought Report of May 1). The 7-day average streamflow for nine of the long-term streamgages (15 percent, down from the reported 70 percent from the Drought Report of April 1) are classified as being "Below Normal" to "Extreme Hydrologic Drought."

The USGS Groundwater Watch shows that 34 percent (improved from 46 percent in previous Report) of ranked wells in the Nebraska Continuous Groundwater-Level Network are less than the 24th percentile (Below Normal or Much Below Normal). One of the most affected zones is the Upper Big Blue River Basin. According to the NGWA Newszine (at http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/ngwanz/issues/2013-05-17/index.html#1), "The Upper Big Blue NRD...reported an average decline of 4.38 feet in groundwater levels from a year ago."

Additional Efforts Required due to the Drought:
No additional low-flow discharge measurements or low-end rating extensions were required in the past month.

Special projects:
None in the past month.

Communications and Outreach:
Nebraska WSC staff have answered numerous media requests for drought information to date (none in the past month). Local media have picked up and commented on Konikow's Groundwater Depletion in the United States (1900-2008) report and have requested additional local comments about the High Plains Aquifer interpretation from Virginia McGuire (http://journalstar.com/news/local/groundwater-woes-u-s-lost-two-lake-eries-worth-before/article_9d21a9b3-9e0b-5fb8-b5de-0a34862d6719.html).

A WWW page is available http://ne.water.usgs.gov/drought/
No news release is planned.
Storm Surge: no

Sub-Region: Midwest; Region: Central United States

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