Nebraska Revised Statute 61-218

Chapter 61

61-218.

Water Resources Cash Fund; created; use; investment; eligibility for funding; annual report; contents; Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund; grant application; use of funds; legislative intent; department; establish subaccount.

(1) The Water Resources Cash Fund is created. The fund shall be administered by the Department of Natural Resources. Any money in the fund available for investment shall be invested by the state investment officer pursuant to the Nebraska Capital Expansion Act and the Nebraska State Funds Investment Act.

(2) The State Treasurer shall credit to the fund such money as is (a) transferred to the fund by the Legislature, (b) paid to the state as fees, deposits, payments, and repayments relating to the fund, both principal and interest, (c) donated as gifts, bequests, or other contributions to such fund from public or private entities, (d) made available by any department or agency of the United States if so directed by such department or agency, (e) allocated pursuant to section 81-15,175, and (f) received by the state for settlement of claims regarding Colorado's past use of water under the Republican River Compact.

(3) The fund shall be expended by the department (a) to aid management actions taken to reduce consumptive uses of water or to enhance streamflows or ground water recharge in river basins, subbasins, or reaches which are deemed by the department overappropriated pursuant to section 46-713 or fully appropriated pursuant to section 46-714 or are bound by an interstate compact or decree or a formal state contract or agreement, (b) for purposes of projects or proposals described in the grant application as set forth in subdivision (2)(h) of section 81-15,175, and (c) to the extent funds are not expended pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) of this subsection, the department may conduct a statewide assessment of short-term and long-term water management activities and funding needs to meet statutory requirements in sections 46-713 to 46-718 and 46-739 and any requirements of an interstate compact or decree or formal state contract or agreement. The fund shall not be used to pay for administrative expenses or any salaries for the department or any political subdivision.

(4) It is the intent of the Legislature that three million three hundred thousand dollars be transferred each fiscal year from the General Fund to the Water Resources Cash Fund for FY2011-12 through FY2022-23, except that for FY2012-13 it is the intent of the Legislature that four million seven hundred thousand dollars be transferred from the General Fund to the Water Resources Cash Fund. It is the intent of the Legislature that the State Treasurer credit any money received from any Republican River Compact settlement to the Water Resources Cash Fund in the fiscal year in which it is received.

(5)(a) Expenditures from the Water Resources Cash Fund may be made to natural resources districts eligible under subsection (3) of this section for activities to either achieve a sustainable balance of consumptive water uses or assure compliance with an interstate compact or decree or a formal state contract or agreement and shall require a match of local funding in an amount equal to or greater than forty percent of the total cost of carrying out the eligible activity. The department shall, no later than August 1 of each year, beginning in 2007, determine the amount of funding that will be made available to natural resources districts from the Water Resources Cash Fund and notify natural resources districts of this determination. The department shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations governing application for and use of the Water Resources Cash Fund by natural resources districts. Such rules and regulations shall, at a minimum, include the following components:

(i) Require an explanation of how the planned activity will achieve a sustainable balance of consumptive water uses or will assure compliance with an interstate compact or decree or a formal state contract or agreement as required by section 46-715 and the controls, rules, and regulations designed to carry out the activity; and

(ii) A schedule of implementation of the activity or its components, including the local match as set forth in subdivision (5)(a) of this section.

(b) Any natural resources district that fails to implement and enforce its controls, rules, and regulations as required by section 46-715 shall not be eligible for funding from the Water Resources Cash Fund until it is determined by the department that compliance with the provisions required by section 46-715 has been established.

(6) The Department of Natural Resources shall submit electronically an annual report to the Legislature no later than October 1 of each year, beginning in the year 2007, that shall detail the use of the Water Resources Cash Fund in the previous year. The report shall provide:

(a) Details regarding the use and cost of activities carried out by the department; and

(b) Details regarding the use and cost of activities carried out by each natural resources district that received funds from the Water Resources Cash Fund.

(7)(a) Prior to the application deadline for fiscal year 2011-12, the Department of Natural Resources shall apply for a grant of nine million nine hundred thousand dollars from the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund, to be paid out in three annual installments of three million three hundred thousand dollars. The purposes listed in the grant application shall be consistent with the uses of the Water Resources Cash Fund provided in this section and shall be used to aid management actions taken to reduce consumptive uses of water, to enhance streamflows, to recharge ground water, or to support wildlife habitat in any river basin determined to be fully appropriated pursuant to section 46-714 or designated as overappropriated pursuant to section 46-713.

(b) If the application is granted, funds received from such grant shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to the Water Resources Cash Fund for the purpose of supporting the projects set forth in the grant application. The department shall include in its grant application documentation that the Legislature has authorized a transfer of three million three hundred thousand dollars from the General Fund into the Water Resources Cash Fund for each of fiscal years 2011-12 and 2012-13 and has stated its intent to transfer three million three hundred thousand dollars to the Water Resources Cash Fund for fiscal year 2013-14.

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the department apply for an additional three-year grant that would begin in fiscal year 2014-15, an additional three-year grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund that would begin in fiscal year 2017-18, and an additional three-year grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund that would begin in fiscal year 2020-21 if the criteria established in subsection (4) of section 81-15,175 are achieved.

(8) The department shall establish a subaccount within the Water Resources Cash Fund for the accounting of all money received as a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund as the result of an application made pursuant to subsection (7) of this section. At the end of each calendar month, the department shall calculate the amount of interest earnings accruing to the subaccount and shall notify the State Treasurer who shall then transfer a like amount from the Water Resources Cash Fund to the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund.

Cross References

  • Nebraska Capital Expansion Act, see section 72-1269.
  • Nebraska State Funds Investment Act, see section 72-1260.