Nebraska Revised Statute 70-601

Chapter 70


Terms, defined.

For purposes of Chapter 70, article 6, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) District means a public power district, public irrigation district, or public power and irrigation district, organized under Chapter 70, article 6, either as originally organized or as the same may from time to time be altered or extended, and includes, when applicable, rural public power districts organized under Chapter 70, article 8, and subject to Chapter 70, article 6;

(2) Municipality, when used in relation to the organization or charter of a public power district or to the election of successors to the board of directors of a public power district, means any county, city, incorporated village, or voting precinct in this state;

(3) Governing body, whenever used in relation to any municipality, means the duly constituted legislative body or authority within and for such municipality as a public corporation and governmental subdivision. When used with reference to a voting precinct, governing body means the county board of the county in which the precinct is located;

(4) Irrigation works means any and all sites, dams, dikes, abutments, reservoirs, canals, flumes, ditches, head gates, machinery, equipment, materials, apparatus, and all other property used or useful for the storage, diversion, damming, distribution, sale, or furnishing of water supply or storage of water for irrigation purposes or for flood control, or used or useful for flood control, whether such works be operated in conjunction with or separately from electric light and power plants or systems;

(5) Power includes any and all electrical energy and capacity generated, produced, transmitted, distributed, bought, or sold, hydrogen produced, stored, or distributed, and ethanol produced for purposes of lighting, heating, power, and any and every other useful purpose whatsoever;

(6) Plant or system includes any and all property owned, used, operated, or useful for operation in the district's business, including the generation by means of water power, steam, or other means or in the transmission, distribution, sale, or purchase of electrical energy, hydrogen, or ethanol for any and every useful purpose, including any and all irrigation works which may be owned, used, or operated in conjunction with such power plant or system;

(7) Energy equipment includes, but is not limited to, equipment or facilities used or useful to generate, produce, transmit, or distribute power, heated or chilled water, or steam for use by the district or the district's commercial and industrial customers; and

(8) Public power industry means public power districts, public power and irrigation districts, municipalities, registered groups of municipalities, electric cooperatives, electric membership associations, joint entities formed under the Interlocal Cooperation Act, joint public agencies formed under the Joint Public Agency Act, agencies formed under the Municipal Cooperative Financing Act, and any other governmental entities providing electric service.


  • Laws 1933, c. 86, § 1, p. 338;
  • Laws 1937, c. 152, § 1, p. 577;
  • Laws 1939, c. 88, § 2, p. 386;
  • C.S.Supp.,1941, § 70-701;
  • R.S.1943, § 70-601;
  • Laws 1965, c. 403, § 1, p. 1290;
  • Laws 1981, LB 181, § 5;
  • Laws 1985, LB 2, § 4;
  • Laws 1986, LB 1230, § 34;
  • Laws 1986, LB 949, § 2;
  • Laws 1997, LB 658, § 5;
  • Laws 2004, LB 969, § 12;
  • Laws 2005, LB 139, § 2.

Cross References

  • Interlocal Cooperation Act, see section 13-801.
  • Joint Public Agency Act, see section 13-2501.
  • Municipal Cooperative Financing Act, see section 18-2401.


  • 1. Constitutionality

  • 2. Liability

  • 3. Powers

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • 1. Constitutionality

  • Public power and irrigation act, sustained against contention of unconstitutionality on grounds that the act was never properly passed, that the title contains more than one subject in violation of section 14, article 3 of the Constitution of Nebraska, and that the act authorizes the taking of private property without payment of just compensation therefor. State ex rel. Loseke v. Fricke, 126 Neb. 736, 254 N.W. 409 (1934).

  • 2. Liability

  • District was not liable for maintenance of bridge which was not constructed under its supervision. Platte Valley P. P. & I. Dist. v. County of Lincoln, 163 Neb. 196, 79 N.W.2d 61 (1956).

  • In action for damages resulting from flooding of plaintiff's premises by floodwaters from canal of irrigation district, negligence of irrigation district was for jury. Webb v. Platte Valley Public Power & Irrigation District, 146 Neb. 61, 18 N.W.2d 563 (1945).

  • Right of landowners to recover consequential damages was governed in federal court by state law. Feltz v. Central Nebraska P. P. & I. Dist., 124 F.2d 578 (8th Cir. 1942).

  • 3. Powers

  • Powers of grid system were those provided by this article. Wittler v. Baumgartner, 180 Neb. 446, 144 N.W.2d 62 (1966).

  • Public power district and city were each authorized to furnish electric current in area adjacent to city. State ex rel. Dawson County Feed Products v. Omaha P. P. Dist., 174 Neb. 350, 118 N.W.2d 7 (1962).

  • Purchase of land for a right-of-way carries with it all the incidents of the power of eminent domain. Clary v. State, 171 Neb. 691, 107 N.W.2d 429 (1961).

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • A public power district which does not provide at least 50 percent of the retail or wholesale power requirements of a municipality cannot include that municipality within its charter area. In re Boundaries of McCook P. P. Dist., 217 Neb. 11, 347 N.W.2d 554 (1984).

  • Members of public power system were corporations. State ex rel. League of Municipalities v. Loup River Public Power Dist., 158 Neb. 160, 62 N.W.2d 682 (1954).

  • It is the duty of district organized under this section that builds structures across natural drainways to provide for the natural passage of all waters which may be reasonably anticipated to drain there. Halligan v. Elander, 147 Neb. 156, 22 N.W.2d 647 (1946).

  • Public corporation organized to use waters of natural stream for irrigation and for development of electric power is a governmental subdivision, and all its property is exempt from taxation. Platte Valley Public Power and Irrigation District v. County of Lincoln, 144 Neb. 584, 14 N.W.2d 202 (1944).