Nebraska Water-Sustainability Bill Advances

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers have advanced a bill designed to steer the state toward long-term water sustainability.  Senators gave the proposal first-round approval on Wednesday, but say they'll make additional changes before it comes to a second vote.  The bill by Sen. Tom Carlson, of Holdrege, would expand the state's Natural Resources Commission from 16 to 27 members. Members would have to come from a variety of major water users, including surface and groundwater irrigators.  The measure would require the commission to set goals and a ranking system for water conservation projects, paid for out of a new state water sustainability fund.  Senators postponed action on an amendment that would require a basin-wide management plan within the Republican River Basin.