Gov. Ricketts, members of statewide water committee nicknamed STAR WARS, announce major water policy proposals

Posted at 12:33 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 19:57:13-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts held a press conference on Monday afternoon announcing plans for Nebraska's water resources. He was joined by members of the Legislature's Statewide Tourism and Recreational Water Access and Resource Sustainability (STAR WARS) Special Committee for the media event in the Nebraska State Capitol.

Also joining Ricketts and the members of STAR WARS was Attorney Gen. Doug Peterson as well as Speaker of the Legislature Mike Hilgers.

Ricketts says that water projects on the Colorado side of the border would decrease water flow coming into the state, which he argues would hurt farmers and the state's ability to generate electricity.

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A compact establishes Nebraska and Colorado's rights to use water from the South Platte River.

"It's critical that we'd be able to maintain these flows and so with that, we're simply notifying Colorado today that we're moving forward with this process and completing the terms that we're entitled to complete pursuant to this agreement dating back to 1923," said Peterson.

State officials are looking for ways to complete a canal project that was started but never completed. It would ensure water flow into Nebraska from the South Platte River.

Watch the press conference below or on the 3 News Now Facebook page.