- Associated Press - Friday, February 28, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Water research and conservation projects would receive $31.5 million in state aid under a measure advanced by a Nebraska legislative committee.

The measure that moved Friday would help pay for current, unfinished natural resources projects for both land and water. It would also fund new efforts to keep Nebraska’s water supply sustainable.

Committee members voted to use $20 million from the state’s cash reserve, $11 million from its general fund, and nearly $500,000 left over from a Nebraska water task force.

Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege sought the water funding, saying it would ensure Nebraska’s supply is sustainable.

Nebraska would continue to spend $11 million on water projects in future budgets, which is roughly double the current amount.

The proposal still requires approval in the full Legislature.