Summary: H.R.355 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Senate receded and concurred with amendment (11/27/1991)

Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991 - Title I: Drought Program - Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to undertake construction and other activities, including drilling wells, to minimize drought losses. Limits construction activities to temporary facilities. Allows wells drilled under this title to be permanent facilities.

Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) provide non-financial assistance to buyers for purchasing available water supplies from willing sellers; (2) purchase water from willing sellers; and (3) participate in water banks set up by States.

Permits the Secretary to make water available on a temporary basis and to use Federal Reclamation water project facilities to store and convey project and non-project water for use outside the authorized service area. Outlines provisions governing the repayment obligations of the purchasers of such water provided on a temporary basis.

Authorizes the Secretary to make water available for protecting fish and wildlife resources outside the authorized project service area on a nonreimbursable basis. Provides that water made available for such purposes from the Central Valley Project in California to the Grasslands Water District in 1991 shall be nonreimbursable.

Requires the Secretary to charge recipients for the use of nonproject water for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses.

Requires the payment of capital costs attributable to the sale of water or the use of Federal Reclamation project facilities to be covered into the Reclamation Fund and credited to the project from which the water or facility is supplied.

Authorizes the Secretary to make loans to water users for undertaking construction, management, or conservation activities or the acquisition and transportation of water to mitigate drought losses. Sets forth repayment obligations.

Terminates the authorities under this title ten years after the enactment of this Act.

Title II: Drought Contingency Planning - Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) conduct studies to identify opportunities for the conservation, augmentation, and more efficient use of the water supplies available to Federal Reclamation projects and Indian water resource developments; and (2) provide technical assistance to State, local, and tribal governments for the development, construction, and operation of water desalinization projects.

Permits the Secretary to prepare cooperative drought contingency plans to prevent or mitigate the adverse effects of drought conditions. Outlines the elements which may be included in such plans and those related to Federal Reclamation projects which each such plan must identify.

Authorizes the Secretary to work with other Federal and State agencies to improve hydrologic data collection systems and water supply forecasting techniques to provide more accurate and timely drought warnings that would trigger such an implementation.

Requires the plans to comply with all applicable State and Federal law and provide for periodic review.

Sets forth provisions providing for the submission of such plans to the Congress for review.

Requires the Secretary to study whether a Reclamation Drought Response Fund is needed to defray drought contingency plan implementation expenses and to make loans for activities to prevent or mitigate adverse drought effects.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide technical drought contingency planning assistance to all the States and U.S. Territories (not just those traditional western States identified in the Reclamation Act of 1902).

Permits the Secretary to conduct a Precipitation Management Technology Transfer Program to help augment water supplies in the West.

Title III: General and Miscellaneous Provisions - Authorizes appropriations for devices to control the temperature of water releases at Shasta Dam, California. Permits the Secretary to complete the design and specification of such devices.

Authorizes the Secretary to enter into contracts with municipalities, public water districts and agencies, State and Federal agencies, and private entities, pursuant to the Warren Act, for beneficial purposes from any facilities associated with the Central Valley Project, Cachuma Project, and the Ventura River Project in California and the Truckee Storage Project and the Washoe Project in California and Nevada. Permits the Secretary to enter into contracts for the exchange of water for such purposes, using facilities associated with the Cachuma Project.