A survey taken last year suggests that Nebraska irrigators used less water from wells and off-farm sources than they used five years earlier.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts a farm and ranch irrigation survey every five years.
Data from last year's survey shows the average water use per acre dropped to 0.8 acre-foot, compared with 1.1 acre-feet in 2003.
In addition, more irrigators reported using sprinkler systems to deliver water to their fields.
Farms with sprinkler systems rose to more than 14,000 _ up 5 percent from 2003, while farms with gravity systems dropped to barely 6,500, down 28 percent from 2003.
There are about 326,000 gallons in an acre-foot, enough to supply the average family of four for 12 to 18 months.