The water level at Nebraska's largest lake is steadily declining because irrigators downstream are demanding more water to deal with hot, dry conditions.
OGALLALA, Neb. (AP) - Officials at the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District predict that Lake McConaughy in western Nebraska could drop 20 feet this year if the weather remains dry.
Civil engineer Cory Steinke says the lake is declining about 1.5-to-2 feet per week because more water is being released than what is flowing in.
The amount of water flowing into the lake from snowmelt has been less than half the average amount.
Last year, Lake McConaughy was nearly full because of above-average snowmelt.
Now, the lake is only about 74 percent full. The lake's lowest reading of 18 percent was in 2004 as drought gripped the region.
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