Water Resources of the United States

PROJECT ALERT NOTICE (NE) Nebraska Drought Update

Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 11:44:57 EDT

Summary: According to the Omaha World Herald (http://www.omaha.com/article/20121011/NEWS/710119873), Nebraska saw no significant improvement in drought intensity over the past week. A USACE news release (Release No. 20121004-001) stated that the Missouri River basin continued to experience drought conditions throughout the month of September with record low inflows. Due to decreased irrigation over the past four weeks, Nebraska river flows have been steady, but remain very low.

Hydrologic Conditions:
Unchanged from last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor has classified 77 percent of Nebraska in the Exceptional drought category, while the remainder of the state remained in the slightly less severe drought categories of Extreme (98% of Nebraska) and Severe (100% of Nebraska). Fourteen USGS streamgages in Nebraska are at zero flow (no change over the past week). Of 60 long-term USGS streamgages (>30 years record) in Nebraska, 7 (or 12 percent) are at no flow (no change from last week). Twelve percent of the long-term gages are equal to or exceed the 7-day low-flow average record for Nebraska (a decrease of four percent from last week).

No additional low-flow measurements, extension of pressure lines, or low-end rating extensions were required in the past week. There have been a total of 25 ratings extensions and modifications across the state in the past 13 weeks.

Groundwater Levels:
GroundwaterWatch shows more than half of the Nebraska real-time groundwater observation wells in the Below Normal, Much Below Normal, or Low (new low) categories. The GroundwaterWatch water-level network readings were mostly completed in the spring before the onset of the drought.

Water Quality:
The Center continues normal operation of a network of stream temperature stations, and several multi-parameter water-quality stations. In the past week, no water-quality issues have arisen that differ from previous updates.

Special projects:

Communications and Outreach:
The NEWSC drought page has been updated and expanded at http://ne.water.usgs.gov/drought/. A drought information message has been created and provided to all field staff to provide USGS information to the public and for media requests. USGS staff have answered numerous media requests for drought information to date (none in the past week).

Bob Swanson, Director, participated in the Decadal Climate Variability and Urban Water Systems meeting in Lincoln on Oct. 11, 2012. Jason Lambrecht, Associate Director, attended the USDA Drought Recovery Meeting in Omaha on Oct. 9.

Twitter: @USGSNeb

No news release is planned, but we have been using our landing page of http://ne.water.usgs.gov to provide updates and link to the drought page. We are also using Twitter to post drought photos and facts as available.

OK to post on Web: yes

Storm Surge:

Submitted by:
Rachael Hoagland (hoagland@usgs.gov) 402.328.4190
Sub-Region: Midwest; Region: Central United States

Sub-Region: Midwest; Region: Central United States

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