50-507. Water Funding Task Force; report; contents.

(1) On or before December 31, 2013, the Water Funding Task Force shall develop and provide a report electronically to the Legislature which contains the following:

(a) Recommendations for a strategic plan which prioritizes programs, projects, and activities in need of funding. The recommendations shall give equal consideration to and be classified into the following categories:

(i) Research, data, and modeling needed to assist the state in meeting its water management goals;

(ii) Rehabilitation or restoration of water supply infrastructure, new water supply infrastructure, or water supply infrastructure maintenance;

(iii) Conjunctive management, storage, and integrated management of ground water and surface water; and

(iv) Compliance with interstate compacts or agreements or other formal state contracts or agreements;

(b) Recommendations for ranking criteria to identify funding priorities based on, but not limited to, the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the program, project, or activity provides increased water productivity and otherwise maximizes the beneficial use of Nebraska's water resources for the benefit of its residents;

(ii) The extent to which the program, project, or activity assists the state in meeting its obligations under interstate compacts or decrees or other formal state contracts or agreements;

(iii) The extent to which the program, project, or activity utilizes objectives described in the Annual Report and Plan of Work for the Nebraska State Water Planning and Review Process issued by the Department of Natural Resources;

(iv) The extent to which the program, project, or activity has been approved for, but has not received, funding through an established state program;

(v) The cost-effectiveness of the program, project, or activity relative to achieving the state's water management goals;

(vi) The extent to which the program, project, or activity contributes to the state's ability to leverage state dollars with local or federal government partners or other partners to maximize the use of its resources; and

(vii) The extent to which the program, project, or activity contributes to multiple water supply management goals, including, but not limited to, flood control, agricultural uses, recreation benefits, wildlife habitat, conservation of water resources, and preservation of water resources for future generations;

(c) Recommendations for legislation on a permanent structure and process through which the programs, projects, or activities described in this section will be provided with funding, including:

(i) A permanent governing board structure and membership;

(ii) An application process;

(iii) A statewide project distribution mechanism; and

(iv) A timeframe for funding allocations based on the list of programs, projects, and activities provided for in this section;

(d) Recommendations for the annual funding amount and the start date for distribution of funds; and

(e) Recommendations for statutory changes relating to regulatory authorities and to funds and programs administered by, and boards and commissions under the direction of, the department, based on the task force's evaluation of the efficiency of such funds, programs, boards, and commissions.

(2) The task force shall make every effort to identify and consult with all water-use stakeholder groups in Nebraska on the development of the recommendations required under sections 50-504 to 50-507.

Source:Laws 2013, LB517, ยง 4.