In order to develop Nebraska's land and water resources, the department, with the approval of the commission, may acquire interests in water and related land resources projects in the name of the state utilizing the Nebraska Resources Development Fund. Such use of the fund shall be made when the public benefits obtained from the project or a part thereof are statewide in nature and when associated costs are determined to be more appropriately financed by other than a local organization. Such use of the fund may be made upon the determination by the department and the commission that such acquisition is appropriate under sections 2-1586 to 2-1595 and may be initiated upon a request filed in accordance with section 2-1593 or by the department itself without such a request. The department, with the approval of the commission, may also acquire interests in water resource projects in the name of the state to meet future demands for usable water. Such resource projects may include, but not be limited to, the construction of dams and reservoirs to provide surplus water storage capacity for municipal and industrial water demands and for other projects to assure an adequate quantity of usable water. In furtherance of these goals the department may contract with the federal government or any of its agencies or departments for the inclusion of additional water supply storage space behind existing or proposed structures.