State lawmakers gave first-round approval to a bill (LB962) Wednesday designed to better deal with surface and groundwater allocations.
The proposal calls for gathering extensive data and performing annual evaluations of the state's 13 river basins.
It also calls for restoring water flows in the over-appropriated Platte River Basin west of Elm Creek.
The bill would establish a process to deal with potential water conflicts before the lawsuits are filed.
Lawmakers, however, still disagree over how to find the money to pay for the plan.