Nebraska Revised Statute 31-401

Chapter 31


Drainage district organized by vote of landowners; when formed.

Whenever it will be conducive to the public health, convenience or welfare, to drain any wet land, to drain any land subject to overflow by water, or any land which will be improved by drainage, to build or construct any dike or levee to prevent overflow by water, to construct, straighten, widen, deepen or alter any ditch, drain, stream or watercourse, to riprap or otherwise protect the bank of any stream or ditch, to construct, enlarge, extend, improve or maintain any system of drainage, to construct, enlarge, extend, improve or maintain any system of control of surface water or running water, or to do any two or more of said things jointly, then a drainage district may be formed and may proceed, as hereinafter provided, for the purpose of inaugurating, constructing, controlling and maintaining said work or works of public improvement.


  • Laws 1907, c. 153, § 1, p. 474;
  • R.S.1913, § 1866;
  • C.S.1922, § 1813;
  • C.S.1929, § 31-501;
  • R.S.1943, § 31-401.


  • District has no duty to maintain and keep in repair its works unless plans and specifications so provide. McGree v. Stanton-Pilger Drainage Dist., 164 Neb. 552, 82 N.W.2d 798 (1957).

  • Legal existence of drainage district may be litigated in proceedings for assessment of benefits. Prucka v. Eastern Sarpy Drainage Dist., 157 Neb. 284, 59 N.W.2d 761 (1953).

  • Plans must be in accordance with this section, but an estimate of cost of work is not required. Chicago & N. W. Ry. Co. v. Payne Creek Drainage Dist., 148 Neb. 139, 26 N.W.2d 607 (1947).

  • A drainage district has a special right to have its drainage channel kept free from obstruction or interference. Drainage District No. 1 v. Suburban Irr. Dist., 139 Neb. 333, 297 N.W. 645 (1941).

  • A drainage district organized under this article is liable for damages caused by the negligent construction of its works. Compton v. Elkhorn Valley Drainage District, 120 Neb. 94, 231 N.W. 685 (1930).

  • Damming of drainage channel to detriment of drainage district may be enjoined. Flader v. Central Realty & Investment Co., 114 Neb. 161, 206 N.W. 965 (1925).

  • Drainage district is liable for damages caused by its negligence in the construction of its works, and action accrues when damage occurs. Bunting v. Oak Creek Drainage District, 99 Neb. 843, 157 N.W. 1028 (1916).

  • Constitutionality of act sustained, and general construction of act outlined. White v. Papillion Drainage District, 96 Neb. 241, 147 N.W. 218 (1914).

  • Act is constitutional. O'Brien v. Schneider, 88 Neb. 479, 129 N.W. 1002 (1911); State ex rel. Harris v. Hanson, 80 Neb. 724, 115 N.W. 294 (1908).