Nebraska Revised Statute 46-156

Chapter 46


Limitation on debts and liabilities; eminent domain; procedure; contracts with United States.

(1) The board of directors, or other officers of the district, shall have no power to incur any debt or liability whatever, either by issuing bonds or otherwise, in excess of the express provisions of sections 46-101 to 46-1,111, and any debt or liability incurred in excess of such express provisions shall be and remain absolutely void.

(2) Any irrigation district organized under the provisions of sections 46-101 to 46-128 shall have power to and it shall be its duty to provide for the proper drainage of any and all lands embraced within its limits which are or have been subirrigated by reason of the lawful use of water from its canal by the owner or lessee of the lands subirrigated or from any cause not the fault or by the consent of such owner or lessee. For such purpose such district shall have all the authority herein granted for levying special assessments or otherwise providing funds necessary to properly drain such lands, entering upon lands for the purpose of making surveys, exercising the right of eminent domain, contracting for the construction of necessary ditches, and further shall have the right to extend such drainage ditches outside of the limits of such district for the purpose of conducting the drainage water to other lands upon which the same may be lawfully used or to return the same to the stream from which its canal is taken. The procedure to condemn property shall be exercised in the manner set forth in sections 76-704 to 76-724. The powers herein granted shall include the power to enter into a contract with the United States to carry out and effectuate all proper drainage of the district or any part thereof, and any such contract shall be treated for all intents and purposes as if made under section 46-126.


  • Laws 1895, c. 70, § 29, p. 290;
  • Laws 1911, c. 162, § 1, p. 535;
  • R.S.1913, § 3487;
  • Laws 1915, c. 69, § 9, p. 181;
  • C.S.1922, § 2887;
  • C.S.1929, § 46-132;
  • R.S.1943, § 46-156;
  • Laws 1951, c. 101, § 90, p. 486.


  • The power of an irrigation district to enter into a contract with the United States for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the necessary works for the delivery and distribution of water was not limited by a requirement that the contract be approved by the voters of the district. Twin Loups Reclamation & Irr. District v. Blessing, 202 Neb. 513, 276 N.W.2d 185 (1979).

  • Provisions of this section are not applicable to public power and irrigation districts organized under Chapter 70. Halligan v. Elander, 147 Neb. 709, 25 N.W.2d 13 (1946).

  • This section, with others mentioned, shows intent to limit the location and construction of irrigation canals and ditches, as well as the land irrigated by same, to the basin containing the source of the water used, and requiring that all unused waters shall be returned to the stream from which diverted. Osterman v. Central Nebraska Public Power & Irr. Dist., 131 Neb. 356, 268 N.W. 334 (1936).

  • Remedy provided herein for drainage of lands within an irrigation district is exclusive. Omaha Life Ins. Co. v. Gering & Ft. Laramie Irr. Dist., 123 Neb. 761, 244 N.W. 296 (1932).

  • Power and irrigation district is not limited to irrigation alone but extends to drainage even beyond district boundaries. Central Irr. Dist. v. Gering Irr. Dist., 122 Neb. 199, 240 N.W. 289 (1932).

  • Lessee of land involved may require district to drain all subirrigated lands in district. Livanis v. Northport Irr. Dist., 121 Neb. 777, 238 N.W. 757 (1931).

  • Irrigation district is not absolutely required hereby to drain all nearby lands seeped by percolating subterranean water, and remedy provided by this section for drainage of such lands is exclusive. Spurrier v. Mitchell Irr. Dist., 119 Neb. 401, 229 N.W. 273, 74 A.L.R. 884 (1930).

  • Subirrigated lands and waters referred to in this section are those which are part of the irrigation system, and liability of district is limited to damages caused by its own waters. State ex rel. Read v. Farmers Irr. Dist., 116 Neb. 373, 217 N.W. 607 (1928).

  • This section is a legislative recognition of the general right of an appropriator to recapture and reuse seepage waters. United States v. Tilley, 124 F.2d 850 (8th Cir. 1941).