More control likely to end up in Lincoln

Friday, December 28, 2007

With control, comes responsibility.

And, if one has responsibility, one is entitled to as much control as possible.

It's a principle that applies all the way from the first days of preschool to the highest halls of government.

It's not surprising, then, that a majority of state senators don't want more control over water, or are unsure about having more control.

We're generally reluctant to give away more local control than absolutely necessary. We agree with Sen. Tom Hansen of North Platte, who responded to a survey by The Associated Press: "The state has plenty of power to regulate water now. The question is, when will the state take responsibility for the compacts we sign?"

On the surface, it appears that the state signed the Republican River Compact, looked the other way until the situation got out of hand, then left the taxpayers and irrigators of the basin to pay for the state's negligence.

In the AP survey released Thursday, 10 senators, including District 44's Mark Christensen, oppose more state power to regulate water use. A dozen are unsure, and 10 want more state power.

Unfortunately, Nebraska is likely to be out of compliance with the Republican River Compact, and the state, regardless of lawmakers' preference, is likely to be forced to accept responsibility for -- and control over -- water use.

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