OMAHA, Neb. — A U.S. Supreme Court decision that breathed new life into a decades-long water-rights dispute on the Great Plains has renewed concerns among southern Nebraska farmers about what could happen to their livelihoods.
Kansas is seeking to shut off irrigation to 500,000 acres of Nebraska farmland in the states' legal battle over the Republican River. That's about half of the basin's 1.2 million irrigated acres.
Nebraska officials say that would be devastating not only to scores of farmers, but to the entire state economy.
But University of Nebraska agricultural economist Ray Supalla says that "isn't going to happen."
A federally appointed arbitrator agreed in a 2009 report that Kansas' request was overreaching.