The US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) recently announced an award to provide cost-share funding for the Nebraska Bostwick Irrigation District’s (District), Superior Canal Delivery Efficiency Improvement Project. With this award the District will receive $2,000,000 in federal funding from USBR. The total project cost is $4,507,591.
The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) supported the development of the application in partnership with the District. NeDNR, will provide additional cost-share funding for the project using settlement dollars previously received from Colorado.
The District diverts irrigation supply at the Superior Diversion structure, which serves approximately 6,000 acres. This supply relies significantly on water stored in Harlan Reservoir, approximately 50 miles upstream from the diversion structure. With these funds, the District plans to install additional diversion locations and/or well galleries closer to the irrigation uses. These new water sources will be linked to the District's main office through automation for instantaneous control of the gates and pumps that will increase system efficiency. Once complete, the project is expected to result in annual water savings of 3,400 acre-feet that will remain in Harlan Reservoir. These savings will be available in times of shortage reducing the District’s diversions from the Republican River.
The project builds on efforts to more effectively manage operations of Harlan County Reservoir and the overall water supplies of the basin. A primary goal is improving the flexibility and reliability of water supplies that support Republican River Compact compliance activities for Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, and the various federal and local water interests in the basin.