Nebraska officials are preparing for a likely water shortage next year that would require extra conservation along the Republican River.
Nebraska Department of Natural Resources deputy director Jim Schneider said Wednesday that his agency is in talks with Kansas and Colorado on ways to comply with the Republican River Compact. The water-sharing agreement among the states dates to 1943.
A preliminary state forecast shows Nebraska's natural resources districts might need to make up 20,000 acre-feet of water next year to stay in compliance.
Schneider says the districts have until Jan. 31 to share their plans for conserving water. He says districts are moving forward with augmentation plans that would draw water from more abundant groundwater sources. Otherwise, they might have to buy water from reservoirs or restrict usage.