Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published by the Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Copyright 2010, Regents of the University of Nebraska.


What were some of the major issues addressed in the 2010 Legislature? Water, fences, wind energy and the state budget.

What happened with water? The main bill was LB862, which extends the $10/acre irrigated acre tax to all Natural Resource Districts (NRDs) that are preparing an integrated water management plan. Formerly, this authority had been extended only to Republican Basin NRDs, but the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that limitation unconstitutional. The Unicameral also repealed the water checkoff on corn and sorghum, and opened up the integrated management plan process to all NRDs. LB862 may help NRDs get closer to where they need to be in the Republican Basin.

Will this fix everything in the Republican Basin? Bill LB862 is a big step in the right direction. The $10/acre tax will likely be challenged in court, so that may cause a delay. But aside from that, Republican Basin NRDs should be able to use the taxes to issue bonds to purchase or lease surface and ground water rights, to the extent needed to keep Nebraska in compliance with the Republican Compact Settlement Agreement.