98% of the state of Nebraska is in a drought: What you can do to help

A staggering 98% of the state of Nebraska is in a form of drought.
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 4:15 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The state of Nebraska is dry, so dry in fact, 1.8 million people across the Cornhusker state are being impacted by the lack of water.

“So if we go to Douglass County, you can drill right down into that and see right now, 100% of Douglas County is in drought,” says climatologist Brian Fuchs with the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. “A little over 87% is in severe drought or worse and 15% of the county is in extreme drought or worse and so that is just for Douglas.”

According to Fuchs, Nebraska has seen this significant amount of drought for some time now, while the state typically only sees levels like this about once every 25 years or more. That’s why he’s calling it a “significant event” that can impact Nebraska agriculture.

“If this drought continues to be ongoing into much of 23′, which right now, it’s looking like it could, we could start to see more discussion about water restrictions and that, as we get into the spring and summer of this year.”

Water rationing is left up to local water districts and there’s no indication saving water is needed right now, but come spring, Fuchs says we’ll have a better idea of where the state stands.

“As we get closer to the South Dakota border most of those snow events have taken place and have kind of eased conditions so far. But even with that, we have to wait for the snow to start melting to see what it can do.”

But you don’t need to wait for mandatory water rationing to do your part to help conserve. Fuchs says it’s as simple as being mindful of how you’re watering your yard and waiting for a full load of laundry before doing the wash.