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CNPPID irrigation shut down as growing season ends

CNPPID irrigation shut down as growing season ends

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HOLDREGE — Irrigation headgates have been closed for the 2020 growing season in areas of Gosper, Phelps and Kearney counties served by Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District.

According to a CNPPID press release, Irrigation Operations Manager Dave Ford also told the Central board Tuesday that the drawdown of water in canals and pipelines has started.

Ford noted that, so far, precipitation during the growing season — April 1-Sept. 30 — is only slightly higher than the driest year on record.

The gauge at Central’s Holdrege headquarters had recorded only 10.14 inches of rain as of Tuesday morning. District records show the driest growing season was 2012, with 10.13 inches of precipitation.

In a related report, CNPPID civil engineer Tyler Thulin said Lake McConaughy is at elevation 3,239.3 feet above sea level or slightly above 61% of capacity. Lake inflows of 1,300 cubic feet per second. Releases are at 1,900 cfs and declining with the end of irrigation season.

In other business, the board:

- Approved two purchase requisitions with Ace Irrigation & Manufacturing Co., pipe for underdrains and road crossings, $30,970, and a pipe installation along the E65 Canal’s main lateral, $28,602.

- Was told by hydraulic project operations manager Cory Steinke that Central’s first completely self-constructed steel and concrete bridge at Supply Canal milepost 27.2 near the Jeffrey Platte River return structure is nearly finished.

The board approved a $221,096 progress payment to Husker Steel of Columbus.

Steinke said the only remaining construction is placement of guardrails on the approach to the bridge. Once the rails are delivered, they will be installed and the bridge will reopen for public use.

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