Nebraska Revised Statute 46-703

Chapter 46

46-703.

Legislative findings.

The Legislature further finds:

(1) The management, conservation, and beneficial use of hydrologically connected ground water and surface water are essential to the continued economic prosperity and well-being of the state, including the present and future development of agriculture in the state;

(2) Hydrologically connected ground water and surface water may need to be managed differently from unconnected ground water and surface water in order to permit equity among water users and to optimize the beneficial use of interrelated ground water and surface water supplies;

(3) Natural resources districts already have significant legal authority to regulate activities which contribute to declines in ground water levels and to nonpoint source contamination of ground water and are the preferred entities to regulate, through ground water management areas, ground water related activities which are contributing to or are, in the reasonably foreseeable future, likely to contribute to conflicts between ground water users and surface water appropriators or to water supply shortages in fully appropriated or overappropriated river basins, subbasins, or reaches;

(4) The Legislature recognizes that ground water use or surface water use in one natural resources district may have adverse affects on water supplies in another district or in an adjoining state. The Legislature intends and expects that each natural resources district within which water use is causing external impacts will accept responsibility for ground water management in accordance with the Nebraska Ground Water Management and Protection Act in the same manner and to the same extent as if the impacts were contained within that district;

(5) The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for regulation of surface water resources and local surface water project sponsors are responsible for much of the structured irrigation utilizing surface water supplies, and these entities should be responsible for regulation of surface water related activities which contribute to conflicts between ground water users and surface water appropriators or to water supply shortages in fully appropriated or overappropriated river basins, subbasins, or reaches;

(6) All involved natural resources districts, the department, and surface water project sponsors should cooperate and collaborate on the identification and implementation of management solutions to conflicts between ground water users and surface water appropriators or to water supply shortages in fully appropriated or overappropriated river basins, subbasins, and reaches; and

(7) An Interrelated Water Review Board is needed to resolve any conflicts between the department and the involved natural resources districts concerning the content, implementation, or enforcement of integrated management plans for fully appropriated and overappropriated river basins, subbasins, and reaches.

Source

Annotations

  • The Department of Natural Resources has no independent authority to regulate ground water users or administer ground water rights for the benefit of surface water appropriators. In re Complaint of Central Neb. Pub. Power, 270 Neb. 108, 699 N.W.2d 372 (2005).