Nebraska Revised Statute 46-122

Chapter 46


Right to water delivery; duty of directors.

(1) It is hereby expressly provided that all water distributed for irrigation purposes shall attach to and follow the tract of land to which it is applied unless a change of location has been approved by the board of directors pursuant to sections 46-2,127 to 46-2,129 or by the Department of Natural Resources pursuant to section 46-294 or sections 46-2,122 to 46-2,126.

(2) The board of directors may by the adoption of appropriate bylaws provide for the suspension of water delivery to any land in such district upon which the irrigation taxes levied and assessed thereon shall remain due and unpaid for two years. It shall be the duty of the directors to make all necessary arrangements for right-of-way for laterals from the main canal to each tract of land subject to assessment, and when necessary the board shall exercise its right of eminent domain to procure right-of-way for the laterals and shall make such rules in regard to the payment for such right-of-way as may be just and equitable.

(3) In times of reduced water supply, when the volume of water is not adequate to be beneficially used when equitably apportioned to all landowners in the district, the board may, after providing notice to landowners in a portion of the district and upon receiving no objections from the majority of such landowners, elect not to deliver water to that portion of the district. Such election shall not subject the district to liability under section 46-160 and shall not affect the rights of landowners in that portion of the district to water deliveries in the future. Any election to not deliver water to a portion of the district shall be made on a year-to-year basis, not to exceed ten years, and such election shall not subject any landowner to adjudication of his or her water right under section 46-229. The board may adjust the tolls or charges made to landowners within the district to reflect the decrease in supply to those landowners in the portion of the district not receiving water pursuant to such election by the board.


  • Laws 1895, c. 70, § 9, p. 276;
  • Laws 1909, c. 156, § 1, p. 566;
  • Laws 1911, c. 158, § 1, p. 525;
  • R.S.1913, § 3465;
  • Laws 1915, c. 69, § 2, p. 172;
  • Laws 1917, c. 82, § 1, p. 194;
  • C.S.1922, § 2865;
  • Laws 1923, c. 97, § 2, p. 247;
  • Laws 1927, c. 142, § 1, p. 386;
  • C.S.1929, § 46-109;
  • R.S.1943, § 46-122;
  • Laws 1983, LB 21, § 1;
  • Laws 1995, LB 99, § 13;
  • Laws 2000, LB 900, § 87;
  • Laws 2003, LB 619, § 3.


  • By this section the Legislature intended that subirrigated lands having no use for water should not be charged with operating expense. Morrow v. Farmers Irr. Dist., 117 Neb. 424, 220 N.W. 680 (1928).

  • Provision of amendatory act of 1923 authorizing directors to impose burden upon landowners of constructing and maintaining laterals, etc., was unconstitutional. State ex rel. Campbell v. Gering Irr. Dist., 114 Neb. 329, 207 N.W. 525 (1926).

  • Mandamus is proper to compel district directors to provide landowners just share of water and supervise distribution. State ex rel. Clarke v. Gering Irr. Dist., 109 Neb. 642, 192 N.W. 212 (1923).

  • Landowners' causes of action against an irrigation district, seeking declaratory, injunctive, and mandamus relief to establish the district's obligations with respect to pipeline maintenance and delivery of water to lands along the pipeline, accrued when the landowners became members of the district, despite an argument that the district had a continuing obligation under the statute to maintain a means of delivery of water to the landowners' tracts; the landowners' causes of action were all based on the contention that the district had an obligation to maintain the pipeline and that the district had that obligation since inclusion of the landowners' lands into the district at the time the landowners became members of the district, and the landowners did not allege that any policies or obligations of the district had changed since that time. DeLaet v. Blue Creek Irr. Dist., 23 Neb. App. 106, 868 N.W.2d 483 (2015).

  • All appropriations for irrigation purposes since 1895 are inseparably appurtenant to specific land. United States v. Tilley, 124 F.2d 850 (8th Cir. 1941).