Water Resources of the United States

PROJECT ALERT NOTICE (NE) Nebraska Drought Update

Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 14:21:44 EDT

Summary: Drought conditions remained relatively unchanged over the past month.

Event Information:
Hydrologic Conditions:
Over the past month, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that drought conditions in Nebraska have improved slightly in the eastern one-third of the state. Most (95.9 percent) of the state is still categorized in the range of "Abnormally Dry" to having "Exceptional" drought (no significant change from last month). Portions of the state experiencing "Exceptional," "Extreme," and "Severe" drought remained relatively unchanged to slightly improved, respectively, at 0.8 percent (unchanged), 26.2 percent (down 5 percent from last month), 66.5 percent (no significant change). This was due to central and northeastern Nebraska receiving 2-8 inches of rain in the past month (according to the National Weather Service, http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ridge2/RFC_Precip/index.php?lat=41.4&lon=-97&zoom=6). This rainfall primarily slightly improved conditions in the Loup River and Elkhorn River Basins. The State's largest surface-water irrigation district, Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District, has already announced reduced deliveries to about half of a full allotment next year,

Records or Milestones:
Of 60 long-term USGS streamgages (>30 years record) in Nebraska, eight (or thirteen percent, up from five percent from last month) are at no flow. Nine of the long-term gages (15 percent) are at or tied with record lows. The 7-day average streamflow for 29 of the long-term streamgages (48 percent, up from the reported 17 percent from the Drought Report of August 6) are classified as being "Below Normal" to "Extreme Hydrologic Drought" (http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=pa07d_dry&r=ne&w=map).

The USGS GroundwaterWatch shows that 36 percent (no significant change since the previous report or that of July) of ranked wells in the Nebraska Continuous Groundwater-Level Network are less than the 24th percentile ("Below Normal" or "Much Below Normal"). The most affected zones are the North Platte River Basin, the Upper Big Blue River Basin, and the Republican River Basin.

Additional Efforts Required due to the Drought:
Additional low-flow discharge measurements were needed at two Blue River Compact streamgages (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ne/nwis/uv/?site_no=06884025&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060 and http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ne/nwis/uv/?site_no=06882000&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060) as flows were at or below Compact target flows for August/September. No 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 inquiries for drought information to date.

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

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

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