Lawmakers Look at Bill to Compensate Surface Water Irrigators
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) —
Farmers in the Republican River Basin could get paid by the state if
Nebraska cuts off their access to surface water, under a bill that won
first-round approval from lawmakers.
Lawmakers voted 27-0 on
Tuesday to advance the bill, even as some warned that major changes are
still needed to address problems with the legislation.
The bill by
Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial would make up to $10 million
available over the next two years to compensate surface-water
irrigators. The measure would cap the payments at $300 per acre.
bill was advanced in the midst of drought fears, and concerns over a
1943 water-sharing agreement with Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado. Kansas
has claimed that Nebraska violated the compact by over-using water.