Group backs state aid to preserve water supply

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A leading groundwater management group says state aid for canals, ponds and other storage projects is the best way to preserve Nebraska's long-term water supply.  The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts says any water-conservation aid approved by lawmakers should focus on joint projects involving local NRDs, irrigation companies and the state. Dean Edson, the group's executive director, says upgrades to existing canals would help recharge the state's groundwater supply. He says ponds and reservoirs could help store water when the supply is abundant, so it could be used in dryer years.  A new water-funding task force has met held meetings throughout the state to come up with specific recommendations for state aid. The group's chairman, Sen. Tom Carlson, says the group has not yet identified specific conservation projects.