Legislative Committee initiative to enhance and sustain water access in Nebraska

More than $5.6 Billion in economic impact during construction

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Statewide Tourism and Recreational Water Access and Resource Sustainability (STAR WARS) committee, released its preferred initiative plan that would sustain reliable sources of water, maintain and increase access to water resources and outdoor recreational opportunities, enhance tourism, and have a well-planned flood control.

There are three distinct projects the committee is proposing.  One deals with the Lake McConaughy region, the other in the Lower Niobrara/Northern Knox county region, and the last is in the Lower Platte River region.

The total economic impact during construction of these projects would amount to more than $5.6 billion.  They would generate at least $150 million annually through continued operations.  The committee is requesting $200 million of state money, which they expect to then create millions of dollars in private and other investments to the projects.

The Lower Platte River project would impact areas between Omaha and Lincoln.  One of the plans is to create a 4,000 acre lake near the river.  A plan similar to this was proposed in the past, but met severe opposition due to the fact the lake would be created via damming the river and causing Ashland and the surrounding communities to be underwater.  This plan solves that issue by digging around the river allowing it to flow into a created reservoir away from established communities.

This lake would have new residential and lifestyle opportunities.  They plan on making it a tourist destination to rival Lake Okobojie in Iowa.  There is plans to build a regional soccer complex as well as a destination resort.  Speaker Mike Hilgers stated,

“We believe that there is an opportunity to build a reservoir of this size that will do all of those things; that will add economic opportunity for our state, help us control more of our own water, while not in anyway impacting Ashland and the surrounding communities. And in fact we think we’ll ultimately only improve the economic opportunity in those areas.”

They also plan to put flood mitigation measures in place along the river.  One of the measures is adding a series of flood control structures in the Wahoo Creek Watershed.

The Governor stated he would announce his budget plans on Thursday and would explain then where the money would come from for these projects.

To learn more about the plan in its entirety CLICK HERE


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