Water-Savings Incentives

Water-Savings Incentives

The URNRD has had cost-share programs to incentivize the use of soil misture probes since 2011. The vast majority of the probes installed under the cost share programs have been the newest generation of capicitance probes with data transmitted to irrigators via telemetry systems. Most have software programs that provide easy-to-read illustrations of available soil moisture at varying root depths and recommendations on whether irrigations are needed. Research indicates that use of the probes can reduce irrigation applications by 1"-2" annually. Discussions with irrigators who regularly use probes verify those figures. Since 2011, approximately 350 probes have been installed on about 45,000 acres in the District.

The District's cost share programs are often dependent on grant funds. In the past, grant funds have been made available by the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and, primarily, the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

The URNRD will continue to pursue grant funds to defray the cost of probes and will make applications available when and if additional grant funds are available. Go to the home page to keep up-to-date on when and if the District's cost-share program is being offered. Sign-up for cost share in 2017 has ended.

The District sells traditional moisture probes that allow growers to pull soil core samples from a depth of up to 30". To buy a probe from the District, call the office at 308-882-5173.

Nebraska Environmental Trust

The Nebraska Environmental Trust is funded with proceeds from the Nebraska Lottery and has awarded more than $228 million to conservation projects since 1994.