Water Task Force

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Gov. Mike Johanns says funding is key to the success of a state water management plan proposed to head off disputes and better regulate stream flows.

The Water Policy Task Force submitted its final report to the governor Thursday.

It recommends that at least $4.7 million in tax money be used to pay for the new program. It proposed taking that money from the existing five-and-a-half cent state sales tax.

Johanns told the group that he would do everything he could to figure out how to fund it. But he says that will be difficult.

The state faces a $211 million budget shortfall.

Johanns did not say how he would propose to fund the new program or at what level. He plans to unveil his budget to the Legislature on Jan. 15.