U.S. Water News Online
LINCOLN, Neb. -- An invasive weed is sucking up water in
areas across the state, hurting vegetation and destroying wildlife
habitats, a University of Nebraska weeds specialist said.
The salt cedar is infesting the Platte River drainage at an
alarming rate, said Bob Wilson with the university's Panhandle
Research and Extension Center at Scottsbluff.
One acre of infested river bank can use 9 acre feet of water per
year, he said. That comes out to 2.9 million gallons of water per
year or twice the amount of water used by the city of Scottsbluff in
one year, Wilson said.
The shrub has infested about 2,300 acres statewide. More than 100
acres of Lake McConaughy's floodplain are infested, as well as some
wetlands and areas along the Republican, Niobrara and Missouri
The salt cedar also can damage vegetation and natural habitats.
The federal government lists salt cedar as one of the ten worst
invasive weeds in the country. It hasn't been declared a noxious weed
in Nebraska yet, but could be soon, Wilson said.
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