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Water Appropriation Rights (Nebraska)

Eligibility 
Agricultural
Commercial
Construction
Fed. Government
Fuel Distributor
General Public/Consumer
Industrial
Installer/Contractor
Institutional
Investor-Owned Utility
Local Government
Low-Income Residential
Multi-Family Residential
Municipal/Public Utility
Nonprofit
Residential
Retail Supplier
Rural Electric Cooperative
Schools
State/Provincial Govt
Systems Integrator
Transportation
Tribal Government
Utility
Program Info
State 
Nebraska
Program Type 
Siting and Permitting
Provider 
Natural Resources

Nebraska has a “first in time, first in right” appropriation policy in place for water withdrawal or use from natural sources. This policy states that the first person or entity using water for a beneficial purpose (e.g., commercial, personal, industrial) is entitled to keep using that water; the rights of subsequent water users follow a similar pattern, and only the remaining water may be used by “junior” users. Nebraska's law additionally states that water which is already appropriated is subject to further allocation for recovery and beneficial use, while unappropriated water is taken as the property of the public and dedicated to the use of the people of the state, subject to appropriation. In most cases, appropriated water may only be returned to the river or stream out of which it was taken. This section describes application procedures for water appropriation and other relevant regulations. .