2-1507. Water Sustainability Fund; distribution; allocation; natural resources district; eligibility; report.

(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Water Sustainability Fund be equitably distributed statewide to the greatest extent possible for the long term and give priority funding status to projects which are the result of federal mandates.

(2) Distributions to assist municipalities with the cost of constructing, upgrading, developing, and replacing sewer infrastructure facilities as part of a combined sewer overflow project shall be based on a demonstration of need and shall equal ten percent of the total annual appropriation to the Water Sustainability Fund if (a) applicants have applied for such funding as required under section 2-1509 and (b) any such application has been recommended for further consideration by the director and is subsequently approved for allocation by the commission pursuant to subsection (1) of section 2-1511. If more than one municipality demonstrates a need for funds pursuant to this subsection, funds shall be distributed proportionally based on population.

(3) Any money in the Water Sustainability Fund may be allocated by the commission to applicants in accordance with sections 2-1506 to 2-1513. Such money may be allocated in the form of grants or loans for water sustainability programs, projects, or activities undertaken within the state. The allocation of funds to a program, project, or activity in one form shall not of itself preclude additional allocations in the same or any other form to the same program, project, or activity.

(4) When the commission has approved an allocation of funds to a program, project, or activity, the Department of Natural Resources shall establish a subaccount in the Water Sustainability Fund and credit the entire amount of the allocation to the subaccount. Individual subaccounts shall be established for each program, project, or activity approved by the commission. The commission may approve a partial allocation to a program, project, or activity based upon available unallocated funds in the Water Sustainability Fund, but the amount of unfunded allocations shall not exceed eleven million dollars. Additional allocations to a program, project, or activity shall be credited to the same subaccount as the original allocation. Subaccounts shall not be subject to transfer out of the Water Sustainability Fund, except that the commission may authorize the transfer of excess or unused funds from a subaccount and into the unreserved balance of the fund.

(5) A natural resources district is eligible for funding from the Water Sustainability Fund only if the district has adopted or is currently participating in the development of an integrated management plan pursuant to subdivision (1)(a) or (b) of section 46-715.

(6) The commission shall utilize the resources and expertise of and collaborate with the Department of Natural Resources, the University of Nebraska, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Nebraska Environmental Trust Board, and the Game and Parks Commission on funding and planning for water programs, projects, or activities.

(7) A biennial report shall be made to the Clerk of the Legislature describing the work accomplished by the use of funds towards the goals of the Water Sustainability Fund beginning on December 31, 2015. The report submitted to the Clerk of the Legislature shall be submitted electronically.

Source:Laws 2014, LB1098, § 4; Laws 2015, LB661, § 21; Laws 2016, LB957, § 1.