Summary: S.2508 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (10/25/2000)

Colorado Ute Settlement Act Amendments of 2000 - Amends the Colorado Ute Indian Water Rights Settlement Act of 1988 to authorize the Secretary of the Interior, in order to settle the outstanding claims of the Ute Indian tribes on the Animas and La Plata Rivers in Colorado and acting through the Bureau of Reclamation, to: (1) complete construction of, operate, and maintain a reservoir, pumping plant, reservoir inlet conduit, and appurtenant facilities to divert and store water from the Animas River to provide a municipal and industrial water supply (the Project); and (2) deliver through the use of such components, specified municipal and industrial water allocations to the San Juan Water Commission, Animas-La Plata Conservancy District, State of Colorado, La Plata Conservancy District of New Mexico, Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes, and Navajo Nation.

Declares that such facilities, if constructed, constitute the Animas- La Plata Project. Prohibits the commencement of construction of any other project features authorized by the Colorado River Basin Project Act without further authorization from Congress.

Provides that construction costs required to deliver each tribe's water allocation shall be nonreimbursable. Makes the nontribal repayment obligations for water allocations subject to a final cost allocation by the Secretary upon project completion. Directs the Secretary to report to Congress on the status of cost-share agreements. Requires the reallocation of water allocations for the Animas-La Plata Conservancy District and the State of Colorado to the Colorado Ute Tribes if no agreement is reached with the District or the State for such allocations.

(Sec. 3) Requires the Secretary, upon request of the State Engineer of New Mexico, to assign to the New Mexico Project beneficiaries or the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission Department of the Interior interests under a specified permit in order to fulfill the New Mexico non-Navajo purposes of the Project, so long as the assignment does not affect the application of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to the use of the water.

Authorizes the Secretary to construct a water line to augment the existing system that conveys municipal water supplies to the Navajo Indian Reservation at or near Shiprock, New Mexico. Makes construction costs for the water line nonreimbursable.

Authorizes appropriations to the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Resource Funds. Requires the Secretary to establish such Funds. Provides for disbursement of Fund monies, with an exception, in accordance with approved natural resource acquisition and enhancement plans.

Establishes the Colorado Ute Settlement Fund in the Treasury and authorizes appropriations to the Fund to complete the construction of Project facilities and the Navajo Nation water line.

Requires the construction of facilities, allocation of water supply to the Indian tribes, provision of funds, and issuance of an amended final consent decree under this Act to constitute final settlement of tribal claims to water rights on the Animas and La Plata Rivers. Requires such decree to provide for an extension of the current January 1, 2005, deadline for the tribes to commence litigation of their reserved rights claims on such rivers.