(1) In developing an integrated management plan, the Department of Natural Resources and the affected natural resources districts shall utilize the best scientific data and other information available and shall review and consider any rules and regulations in effect in any existing ground water management area that encompasses all or part of the geographic area to be encompassed by the plan. Consideration shall be given to the applicable scientific data and other information relied upon by the department in preparing the annual report required by section 46-713 and to other types of data and information that may be deemed appropriate by the department. The department, after seeking input from the affected natural resources districts, shall specify by rule and regulation the types of scientific data and other information that will be considered in developing an integrated management plan. The natural resources districts shall adopt similar rules and regulations specifying the types of scientific data and other information necessary for purposes of this section. Existing research, data, studies, or any other relevant information which has been compiled by or is in possession of other state or federal agencies, other natural resources districts, and other political subdivisions within the State of Nebraska shall be utilized. State agencies and political subdivisions shall furnish information or data upon request of the department or any affected natural resources district. Neither the department nor the natural resources districts shall be required to conduct new research or to develop new computer models to prepare an integrated management plan, but such new research may be conducted or new computer models developed within the limits of available funding if the additional information is desired by the department or the affected natural resources districts.
(2) During preparation of an integrated management plan for a fully appropriated river basin, subbasin, or reach or of an integrated management plan under subdivision (1)(b) of section 46-715, the department and the affected natural resources districts shall consult with any irrigation district, reclamation district, public power and irrigation district, mutual irrigation company, canal company, or municipality that relies on water from the affected river basin, subbasin, or reach and with other water users and stakeholders as deemed appropriate by the department or by the affected natural resources districts. They shall also actively solicit public comments and opinions through public meetings and other means.