2017 Nebraska Revised Statutes
46-206 Appropriation; water to be returned to stream.

Universal Citation: NE Code § 46-206 (2017)

46-206. Appropriation; water to be returned to stream.

The water appropriated from a river or stream shall not be turned or permitted to run into the waters or channel of any other river or stream than that from which it is taken or appropriated, unless such stream exceeds in width one hundred feet, in which event not more than seventy-five percent of the regular flow shall be taken and any such taking shall be subject to the provisions of section 46-289.


  • Laws 1889, c. 68, § 6, p. 504;
  • Laws 1893, c. 40, § 3, p. 378;
  • R.S.1913, § 3376;
  • Laws 1919, c. 190, tit. VII, art. V, div. 1, § 8, p. 832;
  • C.S.1922, § 8413;
  • C.S.1929, § 46-508;
  • R.S.1943, § 46-206;
  • Laws 1981, LB 252, § 2.


  • Diversion of water from one watershed to another is permissible under sections 46-206 and 46-265, R.R.S.1943, so long as the stream from which it is diverted is more than one hundred feet wide and the diversion is not contrary to the public interest. Little Blue N.R.D. v. Lower Platte North N.R.D., 206 Neb. 535, 294 N.W.2d 598 (1980).

  • This section deals primarily with the limitation of the amount of water that may be taken from a stream more than one hundred feet in width. Ainsworth Irr. Dist. v. Bejot, 170 Neb. 257, 102 N.W.2d 416 (1960).

  • This and other sections 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 require 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).

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