U.S. Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced on Feb. 4, the Bureau of Reclamation (BoR) will provide in its Fiscal Year 2020 spending plan, $2.3 million to be put toward the repairs of the Gering-Fort Laramie tunnel following the collapse of the canal containing the tunnel in the summer of 2019.
“This canal is critical to Nebraska agriculture, supplying surface water to approximately 55,000 acres of cropland including corn, sugarbeets, and dry edible beans,” Fischer said. “This funding will help western Nebraska farmers and families who feed the world to recover from the effects of this major disruption to irrigation.”
Previously the BoR indicated that precedent made them unable to offer any funding for the canal’s repair. Senator Fischer and her staff worked closely with the Bureau to find a way forward and secure this funding, which is part of what is needed for the full repair.
The BoR’s Fiscal Year 2020 spending plan, which was just released, includes $2.3 million to repair Tunnel 3 on the Gering-Fort Laramie canal, which partially collapsed on July 17, 2019, damaging all three of its tunnels.