Nebraska lawmakers have passed a bill designed to help the state prepare for floods, water shortages and water quality problems.
The legislation designed to help local governments and the state pay for water projects, with $11 million annual funding, received its final approval on Thursday.
In addition to this latest legislation, budget bills that were approved this year are expected to generate $32 million for the new water sustainability fund by mid-2015.
The bill by Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege would also expand the Natural Resources Commission, from 16 members to 27, in an effort to make sure more major water users are represented.
The new commission would include groundwater and surface water irrigators, cities, public power districts and wildlife conservation groups.