Survey shows drop in Nebraska irrigation per acre

AP News
Posted: Dec 02, 2009 11:13 AM

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.