LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would let the state build a canal in Colorado to divert water out of the South Platte River, a project steeped in fears about the Denver area’s growing water consumption.
Lawmakers passed the measure on Tuesday by a 42-4 vote and sent it to Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, who proposed the idea and is expected to sign it.
The legislation will allow the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources to start work the estimated $500 million canal. They’ve only approved $53.5 million in funding, however, which will force the department to seek more money next year to continue the project.
Nebraska can build the canal under a 1923 agreement.