Currently, Lake McConaughy the state's largest reservoir is at 35 percent of it's capacity. Tim Anderson, a spokesperson for Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation says the lake is losing about two inches a day. Anderson says when irrigation season peaks they estimate about six inches a day dropping the lake another 20 to 22 feet.
The lake doesn't look all that bad near the damn, the most severe part of the lake is the far west part. Anderson says there's one thing that can solve the lake woes, that being "mother nature." Anderson says if they can get two inches rains on a consistent basis then that will help recharge "Big Mac."
For the 2004 irrigation season, Central says irrigators will get their water, but for 2005 they will have to make some tough decisions.
If there's a bright side to the low lake water levels it's the recreation. Darrol Eichman with the Nebraska Game and Parks says fishing has been excellent. Since February he's signed off on 15 master anglers. Eichman says the Game and Parks is doing everything they can to fend off any fish kill this year. The dropping water levels cause the water temperatures to soar. That's why the Game and Parks has installed a new aeration system that helps balance water temperatures and increases the oxygen in the water.
The Nebraska Game and Parks says there's two boat ramps still open.