Brief History of The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation
Summary of Central's Origins, Development and Operations --
I ----- PART II
have always preferred to meet their water troubles head-on rather
than quit their places of abode and industry. So people have applied
their creative imagination, utilized their skills and released heroic
energy. Man's endeavors to achieve a more desirable relationship
with the waters of the earth have helped mold his character and
his outlook toward the world around him."
-- Bernard Frank, U.S. Forest Service, 1955
It was 1934. America was in the midst of the "Great Depression."
In the Plains’ states, the effects of the depression were
exacerbated by a withering drought. Farmers struggled to grow crops,
struggled to stay on the land, struggled to feed their families
during hard times. The rural areas and little towns in Nebraska
that were dependent upon agriculture faced an uncertain future,
trying to hold on until conditions improved.
The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District had been
formed one year earlier, but its future also was in doubt. The project
had met with strong opposition, its works had not been approved
and funds were not available. The project’s supporters had
made some headway, but a journey strewn with seemingly insurmountable
obstacles still lay ahead.
J.E. Lawrence of Lincoln, a member of the state Public Works Advisory
Board, recommended to the Public Works Administration that funds
be allotted for the "Tri-County Project" to aid Nebraska's
rural areas in their struggle. In a brief submitted to PWA officials
in 1934, Lawrence wrote:
“The social problem involved is the security and stability
of a region possessing no other natural resource than agriculture.
Its lands are becoming less remunerative through any form of farm
operation, and unless subsoil moisture and fertility can be restored
to the conditions which prevailed when farm homes were built,
the virgin sod broken, and towns and cities established as trading
centers, abandonment of the farms and gradual decline of the cities
and towns will become inevitable.
“It is not a question of permitting land to lie fallow for
a few years. The geologists in Nebraska and the agricultural experts
connected with the University of Nebraska assured the Nebraska
advisory board that in a region where rainfall is no greater than
it is in all of this area, 50 and possibly 100 years would elapse
before the subsoil stores of moisture could be rebuilt.
“That would mean the destruction of more than 5,000 farm
homes and a still greater number in the 20 towns and cities included
in the district. It would nullify the settled policy of the administration
to encourage rural life and it would condemn a civilization which
has established splendid schools, built churches and hospitals
and otherwise availed itself of all the modern conveniences and
necessities, to a futile, uneven struggle against the overwhelming
odds of nature.”
developments would alter the course of the region's history. Before
the decade had concluded, The Central Nebraska Public Power and
Irrigation District project was approved and construction was underway.
Its was designed to bring irrigation to rich soil in south-central
Nebraska that lacked only sufficient precipitation to make farming
productive. Hydroelectric plants were included in the project to
take advantage of the flowing water, to help meet Nebraska’s
growing demand for electricity and to help pay for the project.
The project accomplished all that its supporters said it would and
more. Not only did it help develop one of the most successful and
productive agricultural regions in the United States, the project’s
lakes and the canal which links them together proved a significant
benefit to wildlife and created opportunities for water-based recreation
where none previously existed. Today, the irrigation project provides
multiple benefits: hydroelectric generation, ground water recharge,
fish and wildlife habitat and recreation.
The Central District has set a goal of becoming a leader in the
area of integrated water resource management. Central's long-range
Strategic Plan reads:
"The mission of the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation
District is to serve the agricultural-based community in south-central
Nebraska by protecting and utilizing in a sustainable and ecologically
balanced manner all of the natural resources available to us to
provide reliable and reasonably priced surface water irrigation
and ground water recharge while producing electric power and preserving
and enhancing our quality of life and the natural environment
in which we live."
In doing so, the document continues, the task must be “undertaken
with the abiding conviction in, and understanding of, our overriding
obligation to be good stewards of the region’s environment
and its land and water resources."
Origins of the Central District
The merits of a plan to bring water to south-central Nebraska were
being debated as early as 1887 when Joel Hull of Minden proposed
the construction of a canal to produce hydroelectric power. With
rain plentiful during the period, irrigation was considered a secondary
benefit. The primary purpose was to provide ample electrical power
to attract manufacturing plants and build prosperous cities around
Irrigation for consistent and abundant crop production had risen
to the forefront by 1894. The proposed route of Hull’s canal
was similar to the route the Phelps Canal would follow almost 50
years later, but Hull’s canal was never built. Droughts in
1894-95 and again in 1899-1900 were not enough to convince the public,
nor the government, of the need for an irrigation project.
Hull’s plans did not develop quite as he had envisioned them,
but the seeds had been planted and the canals that were eventually
built helped bring to the area the prosperity that Hull had envisioned.
It was called an “unusual suggestion.”
The suggestion was “supplemental irrigation” and it
was proposed in 1913 by C.W. McConaughy, a grain merchant and mayor
of Holdrege. The plan called for Platte River water to be brought
via canals to central Nebraska farmland during the spring and fall
when river flows were at their highest. The water would be used
to soak the soil, allowing crops to draw upon the stored water during
the growing season.
McConaughy’s inspiration for supplemental irrigation came
one day as he drove home from Elm Creek through the farm country
north of Holdrege. He noticed a field of wheat with spots where
the wheat grew tall with long heads. In other places, the wheat
was stunted and headed out before maturity.
After locating the owner of the field, McConaughy found that shocks
of corn had been left in the field over the winter and drifts of
snow had collected around the shocks. The water soaked into the
soil when the snow melted in the spring and it was in these places
where the wheat grew best. An idea was born.
The Tri-County Supplemental Water Association was created on Nov.
26, 1913 with McConaughy as president. It was to be the first of
three irrigation organizations in which McConaughy was involved.
McConaughy put his idea into print in 1914 in The Commoner magazine
(edited and published by William Jennings Bryan and his brother
Charles). The article discussed the necessity of reaping an ever-increasing
harvest by diverting flood water to irrigate semi-arid land:
“Apparently nature has intended it (flood water) for
supplementing rainfall in this territory. All man must do is to
lead it from the streams out upon the great divides and let it
soak into the subsoil where it is ready for plant use.”1
obtained approval for a federally funded survey to determine the
feasibility of the plan, but he was disappointed when the results
of the survey returned. The surveyors had treated the plan as a
regular -- rather than supplemental -- irrigation project and had
determined that there would not be enough water in the Platte River
to irrigate crops. The unfavorable report ended chances of the canal
being constructed ... for the time being.
Undiscouraged, McConaughy continued to speak on behalf of irrigation
and was the main advocate of the irrigation movement in its early
stages. In a speech which revealed the depth of his personal involvement
in the crusade, McConaughy said:
“When I have stood and seen for weeks great volumes
of water rolling down the Platte in the flood season to become
a nuisance in the lower Mississippi and when I have seen the semi-arid
lands in our counties suffering and thirsting for water during
the crop-growing season, my heart has been set on fire with a
“I have a vision of what Nebraska can be and ought to be
if a combined effort were made by all of its citizens.”2
Tri-County organization nearly died in 1916 when an ample amount
of rainfall led to an abundant harvest. Through McConaughy’s
efforts, the organization gained new life the next year, but it
was a long battle that was only beginning. In 1922, the Nebraska
Supplemental Water Association was created and McConaughy was elected
president by acclamation. He announced his plans to reinvestigate
the possibility of an irrigation project to counter the earlier
unfavorable survey report. (See Map
As late as 1925, the organization’s emphasis was still supplemental
water, but the production of power was fast becoming a factor in
the development of an irrigation project. Hydropower production
required more than the amount of water used for a supplemental application
of water -- it required a full-scale irrigation project with direct
application of water to crops.
Another influential figure in the formative days of the District
was George P. Kingsley, a Minden banker and businessman. Kingsley
heard McConaughy speak about the wonders which could result for
agriculture in the area from just a small amount of additional water.
From that point on, he dedicated his time, energy and considerable
talents to bringing irrigation to the area. Kingsley possessed refined
organizational skills and held influence among important people
in the area. He was well known for his sound judgement, determination
and broad vision. From 1913 until his death in 1929, Kingsley worked
to make the dreams of irrigation a reality.
Kingsley was elected vice president of the Tri-County Supplemental
Water Association in 1913 and was elected vice president of the
Central Nebraska Supplemental Water Association when it was organized
in 1922. In recognition of his contributions to and leadership of
early efforts to bring irrigation to the area, the great earthen
dam that forms Lake McConaughy bears his name.
The 1920s and early ’30s brought one disappointment after
another to Kingsley, McConaughy and other irrigation supporters.
A dry summer in 1926 gave new life to the Tri-County proposal as
more and more farmers became convinced of the need for irrigation
water. But renewed attempts to secure favorable legislation in Congress
were met with the same strong opposition and the same result --
failure. By 1932 the future of the project was very much in doubt.
Despite the doubts, Tri-County supporters continued to press on
toward the vision they shared for the future of Nebraska. Finally,
on July 24, 1933, the Nebraska Department of Roads and Irrigation
approved a petition to organize the Central Nebraska Public Power
and Irrigation District, although many hurdles remained to be cleared
before the project became a reality. The remainder of the year was
spent preparing an application for funds to the Public Works Administration
(PWA). The state PWA board approved the application in November
and sent it to Washington.
It was too late. PWA funds had been depleted and Tri-County supporters
were told they would have to wait for the next session of Congress.
However, while Tri-County struggled for survival, another irrigation
project was trying to secure a Reconstruction Finance Corporation
loan. The Lower Platte (Sutherland) irrigation project and the Tri-County
project thus became competitors for funds as well as for Platte
River water rights. The legal and political battles that followed
were frequent and intense.
The Sutherland project was given final state approval in June of
1933 and its application was transferred from the RFC to the newly
created PWA. It was one step ahead of the Tri-County project. However,
Tri-County had already established a prior claim for a water right,
while Sutherland had yet to secure the necessary water rights. The
main protest from Sutherland was that there would not be enough
water in the Platte River for two irrigation projects. Sutherland
repeatedly challenged Tri-County's water rights, but to no avail.
Tri-County and Sutherland finally reached a compromise water rights
agreement on Jan. 13, 1934, which resulted in water rights for both
districts. Meanwhile, the PWA continued to study the Tri-County
project and had given preliminary approval to the proposal. But
the PWA doubted the project’s power generation claims and
questioned if there would be a sufficient market for the electricity.
In answer to these questions, a Tri-County power market survey completed
in February, 1934 showed 24 communities interested in Tri-County
power. An estimate from a professor in the University of Nebraska's
engineering department showed that the project's $44.6 million cost
could be amortized in 44 years with the aid of power sales.
While Tri-County leaders continually battled opposition from supporters
of the Sutherland project and the City of Grand Island,3
opposition sprung up in a surprising place -- the area which was
to receive the benefits of the irrigation water, particularly Phelps
County. Farmers were skeptical that the project was needed in the
first place. They also feared that the project would be too expensive,
that it would bring about higher taxes and that the project would
never be able to pay for itself. Project opponents, particularly
private power companies, were quick to instigate and play up these
Indeed, with plentiful rainfall during most of the 1920s, it was
difficult to make a case for the immediate need for an irrigation
project. The drought and depression that gripped the land in the
1930s may have actually been a boon to Tri-County supporters. They
pointed to withering corn fields and dusty topsoil being blown into
drifts and said, in effect, “This could all be prevented.
The project could insure us against drought and help this area prosper
in the face of extended dry periods.”
Supporters held countless meetings to make the public aware of the
facts pertinent to the proposal. The engineering plans and economic
feasibility needed to be constantly defended against the attacks
of opponents, attacks that Dr. D.W. Kingsley, the District's first
president, called “unethical.”
Dr. Kingsley, the son of George Kingsley, decried the inaccurate
information spread by opponents and worked tirelessly to remedy
the lack of understanding about the project. Between 1933 and 1941,
according to a 1958 Central District publication, “Don Kingsley
furnished the leadership during the years of organization and construction
when each day’s efforts often marked the difference between
eventual success or failure and brought into being the development
envisioned by his father and those associated with him in their
early-day promotion of irrigation.”
Another important development occurred in April, 1934. PWA engineers
visiting Nebraska suggested that a dam and reservoir be built on
the North Platte River near Keystone instead of the two Plum Creek
Reservoirs proposed in Tri-County’s plan. The dam would store
enough water to supply the Sutherland project, the Tri-County project
and, said the engineers, some future irrigation projects.
Tri-County immediately filed for storage rights behind the proposed
Realized: PWA Approves Project
The Keystone Dam proposal probably saved the Tri-County project.
The PWA had decided to reject the project, but the project was transferred
to a special review board which endorsed it with the new dam site.
But an obstacle remained ... the PWA still had no funds to offer.
Regardless of the review board’s assessment, the PWA's engineering
and finance divisions had rejected the project because they believed
that costs would far exceed submitted estimates and the power generation
proposal was “technically unsound.” Tri-County leaders
submitted a new application with revised cost estimates to the PWA
on Jan. 23, 1935. The board recommended that a way be found to avoid
duplication of the power market served by Sutherland.
Tri-County’s application was again revised and submitted to
the PWA Power Division on Aug. 1, 1935. It included a diversion
dam near Keystone, the Plum Creek reservoirs and power plants. The
cost was estimated at $33.6 million.
Three weeks later, Tri-County submitted its final application to
the PWA. The Keystone dam proposal had been dropped and the size
of the three power plants had been reduced, but plans for both Plum
Creek reservoirs were intact.
The long-awaited approval of the Tri-County project came on Aug.
24, 1935. The power division of the PWA recommended approval of
a $20 million loan to the project after its water rights were validated.
As approved, the project would bring water to 305,000 acres from
just west of Bertrand in Gosper County to 10 miles east of Minden
in Kearney County. Another 144,000 acres in Adams County would also
receive water (see Map 2).
Celebrations erupted throughout south-central Nebraska when the
news was made known on Sept. 26, 1935. A parade, complete with bands
and floats, was staged in Hastings as tribute was paid to all of
Tri-County’s leaders. The people of Adams County had been
the project's staunchest supporters, but a turn of events denied
the county the water for which it had worked so hard.
The Sutherland project continued its opposition even after President
Franklin D. Roosevelt officially signed the approval for the $20
million loan on Sept. 18, 1935. In addition, Nebraska’s six
large private power companies opposed the Tri-County loan by bringing
suit against the PWA.4
The opposition from the Sutherland supporters and the power companies
resulted in significant changes to the original water claims, the
most important of which was the PWA’s recommendation that
a large reservoir on the North Platte River be constructed after
all, instead of the Plum Creek reservoirs.
Grand Island municipal leaders filed an appeal in the the Nebraska
Supreme Court in December, 1935 in opposition to the granting of
Tri-County’s water rights. Although the court refused to reject
the water rights outright, it did rule that the Project could not
divert water out of the Platte River watershed, eliminating more
than half of the lands which were to be irrigated and all of the
acres in Adams County. Repeated attempts by Tri-County leaders to
have the acres reinstated were unsuccessful.
The court’s ruling on June 29, 1936 became known as the “Osterman
Decision” (Osterman vs. CNPPID). Several legislative attempts
to revise Nebraska irrigation law to permit transbasin diversions
failed before the ruling was overturned in 1980 and such diversions
legalized (Little Blue NRD vs. Lower Platte NRD).
With the number of irrigated acres reduced by half, Tri-County leaders
accepted the PWA’s recommendations and revised the Project’s
plans in order to keep it financially feasible. The two Plum Creek
Reservoirs were dropped and plans were drawn up to increase electrical
generating capacity (see Map
2 and Map 3).
The decision to build the dam near Keystone (now known as Kingsley
Dam) led to the resignation from the Tri-County Board of Directors
of one of its founders and staunchest advocates. C.W. McConaughy
could not accept the decision to replace the two Plum Creek reservoirs
with the dam that created -- ironically -- Lake McConaughy. McConaughy
lived to see construction of much of the project for which he had
worked so hard, but died on April 13, 1941, only a few months before
the formal dedication of the Tri-County project.
Construction of the Tri-County project began on March 13, 1936 with
ground-breaking ceremonies on the Phelps County Canal, followed
by simultaneous work on Kingsley Dam, the North Platte Diversion
Dam, the Supply Canal, the three downstream hydroelectric plants
and the irrigation canals and laterals. Most of the construction
on the project’s works was finished during 1940 and the Supply
Canal was opened in November, 1940. The first power was generated
at the Jeffrey plant on Jan. 5, 1941.
Kingsley Dam was closed in early 1941 allowing storage in Lake McConaughy
to begin. The dam was officially dedicated at ceremonies on July
22, 1941 and the first irrigation water from Lake McConaughy was
delivered that same year. Irrigation delivery and related operations
began in earnest in 1942 and the project was officially completed
The total cost of the Project was $43 million, paid by a $19 million
PWA grant and a $24 million federal loan (the federal debt was paid
off when the loan was refinanced in 1972; the refinanced portion
of the debt was paid off in 1995). The Depression-era construction
project provided jobs to more than 1,500 people, but it was not
simply a “make-work” project. It was the culmination
of many years of planning and hard work. It was the realization
of the hopes and dreams of a group of irrigation pioneers who foresaw
the prosperity irrigation water would bring to south-central Nebraska.
One of the PWA's primary concerns was suitable markets for the power
produced by Nebraska's new hydroelectric projects. The Loup and
Sutherland projects had planned to distribute most of their production
to private power companies for distribution, but the additional
production from the Tri-County project made it possible for the
hydroplants to serve virtually all of the power needs that existed
in Nebraska in the late 1930s.
In 1937 the three public power districts began to consider the possibility
of purchasing the private power companies. The private power interests
resisted initial buy-out attempts by the public districts, but in
August, 1939 the Loup Public Power District in Columbus organized
the Consumers Public Power District as a state-wide distributing
agency. The formation of the Nebraska Public Power System -- a joint
operating agreement between the Loup, Sutherland and Tri-County
projects -- in 1940 signaled the beginning of the end of private
power in Nebraska. Consumers and NPPS made purchase of the private
companies feasible and inevitable. Beginning with Consumers' purchase
of the Northwestern Public Service Company in July, 1940 and ending
with the Omaha Public Power District's purchase of the Nebraska
Power Company's properties in December, 1946, Nebraska's needs for
electricity became served entirely by public power organizations.
Tri-County withdrew from the Nebraska Public Power System in 1949
to devote its attention to irrigation. In 1970, portions of the
Platte Valley and Loup districts were merged with Consumers and
NPPS to form the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD).
to Farm Under Irrigation
When Central first began delivering water, agricultural practices
were primitive by today’s standards. Horse- or mule-drawn
implements were still used by many farmers and irrigation methods,
such as canvas dams and lath boxes or simply flooding a field, were
Making use of a temporary diversion dam located on the Platte River
about 10 miles southeast of Lexington, Central first delivered water
to the newly dug canals in the
irrigated area during the spring of 1938. Approximately 3,300 acres
received up to nine inches of water per acre that summer, resulting
in immediate and significant increases in crop yields.
While irrigation in Nebraska dated back to the 1880s, its use was
mostly confined to areas immediately adjacent to rivers and natural
streams. Early irrigation methods and equipment were not very efficient,
although they were an improvement over the alternative of waiting
After the irrigation canals were ready, Central sponsored demonstration
days to show farmers how to utilize the water. One such "irrigation
school" of note was conducted on April 28-29, 1938 by Ivan
Wood, an irrigation specialist from the University of Nebraska Agricultural
College's Extension Service. Held at the Henry Peterson farm eight
miles northwest of Holdrege, the school attracted an estimated 10,000
people over two days. Wood demonstrated various instruments for
leveling ground, making farm laterals, the use of canvas dams or
light, steel dams for shutting off water or raising water levels
in a lateral, the use of homemade turnouts and how to distribute
water over the field in the most practical manner.
Corn yields jumped from an average of 28 bu./acre in the 1920s to
more than 100 bu./acre on irrigated ground under improved farming
practices during the 1940s. Much changed during the decade of the
1950s. While hybrid seeds were developed and commercially available
as early as the 1920s, their use didn’t become common until
the 1950s. The use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides became
widespread and farmers learned more efficient ways to irrigate.Today,
yields of more than 200 bu./acre are not uncommon. A reliable source
of water for crops enabled many farmers to prosper instead of being
driven from the land by the whims of nature.
Roles, Important Leadership
Prior to, during and after the formation of the District, George
E. Johnson and Ralph O. Canaday played vital roles in the development
of the project.
Johnson promoted the “Tri-County Project” from 1915
until its approval in 1935. He then became the chief engineer and
general manager of the project during its construction. He left
the District in 1946 to supervise dam developments in Argentina,
but civil unrest and government instability in that country prompted
his return to
Nebraska and his duties as Central's chief engineer in 1950.
He later designed and supervised construction of the Canaday Steam
Plant and was manager of the Steam Division from 1957 until his
retirement at age 74 in 1959. He retained ties with Central, even
in retirement, serving as a consultant until 1964.
Johnson’s dedication to improving conditions for mankind were
represented in a report he wrote to the government of Argentina
after completing his work there. His words, though written in South
America, relate very well to his work in Nebraska:
“What happens to the land, the soil, the water and the
minerals within the earth determines what happens to its people.
It is upon these resources that men and nations must build. These
are the foundations upon which our hopes and dreams for a future
of prosperity and security are based.”5
served as legal counsel for the organization that was promoting
the District in its early years. When the Central District was formed
in 1933, he became its chief counsel and secretary of the board.
He also served as general manager of the District from 1950-57 and
as general manager of the Hydro and Irrigation Division from 1957
until his retirement in 1959.
Canaday was recognized upon his retirement for his service to the
people of Nebraska and for his “devotion, determination and
high legal and managerial ability and integrity during the District's
first 25 years.”6
Another influential figure during the efforts to secure federal
approval and dollars for the project was U.S. Senator George W.
Norris of McCook. Norris represented Nebraska in Congress for more
than 40 years, including 30 years (1912-42) in the Senate. Best
known for his role in the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority
and his sponsorship of legislation that created the Rural Electrification
Administration, Norris played a pivotal role in guiding the project
through the federal government's bureaucratic maze.
He first submitted a bill for construction of the project in the
U.S. Senate in 1925. The bill passed in the Senate but failed in
the House. Over the next ten years, he worked with Tri-County supporters
to gain approval for the project.
Norris personally intervened on behalf of the Tri-County Project
on several occasions. His efforts to persuade Secretary of the Interior
Harold Ickes and President Roosevelt eventually were successful.
On one occasion in August, 1935, he informed Ickes that he was "about
done playing around with him," and progress toward approval
After the project received preliminary approval from Roosevelt on
Aug. 24, 1935, supporters of the Sutherland project made another
attempt to derail the process by trying to convince the president
not to give final approval to the project. However, Roosevelt, out
of respect for Norris and his work in Congress, dismissed the objections
and granted final approval for the project.
Norris attended ceremonies at the Jeffrey Hydroplant on Jan. 5,
1941. As he flipped the switch to bring the plant on line, he said,
"Here, for the first time, we are going to put the Platte River's
waste water to use for the benefit of us all, to moisten our soil
and produce cheap electricity."7
TO PART II
1. Dr. Gene E. Hamaker,
"Irrigation Pioneers: A History of the Tri-County Project to
1935," The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District,
1964, p. 12.
2. Ibid., p. 21.
3. The City of Grand Island vigorously opposed
the Tri-County Project on the basis of fears that the project would
damage the city's underground water supply by taking all of the water
out of the Platte River and diverting some to the Republican River
watershed. Even before the project was built, Grand Island, Fremont,
and other cities had been forced to chlorinate their water wells because
flows in the river during the summer were not enough to prevent wells
from drawing too deeply from the water table. Since the construction
of Kingsley Dam, U.S. Government Survey records show that the occurrence
of no-flow days in the Platte River at Grand Island have been substantially
reduced because of the existence of a reliable upstream supply of
storage water which replaced the flood-in-the-spring, dry-up-in-the-summer
pattern characteristic of the pre-Kingsley Dam Platte River. The editor
of the Grand Island newspaper also opposed the project because he
believed that there was only enough water in the Platte Valley for
domestic and irrigation purposes and not enough for power production,
despite the fact that hydro generation is a non-consumptive use. On
the other hand, the city supported the Sutherland project because,
city leaders reasoned, seepage from the Sutherland Reservoir would
return to the Platte River and continue on downstream. These views
reflected the general lack of understanding about the proposed Tri-County
Project and Platte River hydrology. (Editor and Dr. Gene E. Hamaker,
"Irrigation Pioneers: A History of the Tri-County Project to
1935," The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District,
1964, p. 129, p. 191.)
4. In 1938, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in
favor of the Public Works Administration, a ruling which would lead
to the end of private power companies in Nebraska. In 1940, Loup,
Tri-County, and Sutherland combined to form the Nebraska Public Power
System and began to buy private power companies. By 1946, Nebraska
was entirely a public power state. (Dr. Gene Hamaker, "Irrigation
Pioneers: A History of the Tri-County Project to 1935," The Central
Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District, 1964, p. 212.)
5. Karen Stork, Flat Water: A History of Nebraska
and its Water, Conservation and Survey Division, Institute of Agriculture
and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1993, p. 111.
6. Ibid., p. 111.
7. The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation
District. Records on file. Transcript of Sen. Norris' speech at Jeffrey
Hydroplant, Jan. 5, 1941.