NewsState News


Nebraska canal project targeting Colorado clears key hurdle

Pete Ricketts
Posted at 6:50 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 14:44:34-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska is taking another step toward building a canal that would divert water out of neighboring Colorado under a 99-year-old compact, a project based in fears about the Denver area's growing use of the South Platte River that runs through both states.

State lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill that would allow Nebraska's Department of Natural Resources to lay the groundwork for the estimated $500 million canal.

The measure advanced, 36-3, through the first of three required votes in the Legislature despite skepticism from some lawmakers about whether the canal is necessary.

READ MORE: Colorado to 'aggressively assert' water rights with Nebraska

Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts announced the plan in January to invoke Nebraska's right to build the canal under a water-sharing agreement between the states.