The 1975 session of the Nebraska Legislature enacted sections 46-656 to 46-674 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes, rather optimistically entitled the "Nebraska Ground Water Management Act." As the legislative statement of intent indicates, the Act is designed to manage and conserve groundwater resources in an effort to insure the present and future economic well-being of the state. The legislative intent also purports to include a "demand," in the public interest, to implement management practices. However laudable this frank legislative recognition of the problem, the Act may fail to accomplish its stated purpose by not providing sufficient means for a politically feasible and constitutionally permissible solution. If that is the case, two significant issues remain: First, what judicial means of resolving the problems inherent in a lack of comprehensive management are available, and second, how may those means be effected, until or without further affirmative legislative action?

I. Introduction

II. The Scope of the Groundwater Problem

III. Regulation under the Act

IV. Substantive Problems Not Addressed by the Act

V. Judicial Means of Resolving the Issues Raised by the Act … A. Judicial Mean for Controlling Groundwater Management … B. Constraints on Judicial Decisionmaking … C. Judicial Resolutions of the Problems Created by the Act

VI. Conclusion