Summary: H.R.23 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.23. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (01/03/2017)

Gaining Responsibility on Water Act of 2017

This bill requires the Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project in California to be operated pursuant to the water quality standards and operational constraints described in the "Principles for Agreement on the Bay-Delta Standards Between the State of California and the Federal Government" dated December 15, 1994.

The Department of the Interior shall cease any action to implement the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act.

The Bureau of Reclamation shall complete specified feasibility studies for water storage projects in California.

Interior is directed, in the operation of the CVP, to adhere to California's water rights laws governing water rights priorities and to honor water rights senior to those held by the United States.

Interior, in the operation of the Trinity River Division of the CVP, shall not make releases from Lewiston Dam in excess of specified volumes for each water-year type.

Interior and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) shall recognize: (1) congressional opposition to the violation of private property rights by the California State Water Resources Control Board in its proposal to require a minimum percentage of unimpaired flows in the main tributaries of the San Joaquin River; and (2) the need to provide reliable water supplies to municipal, industrial, and agricultural users across the state.

The Bureau of Reclamation is established as the lead agency for purposes of coordinating all reviews, permits, licenses, or other approvals or decisions required under federal law to construct qualifying water projects. Reclamation shall identify, as early as practicable upon receipt of an application for a qualifying project, any federal agency that may have jurisdiction over a review, permit, license, approval, or decision required for a qualifying project.

Interior must convert certain existing water service contracts between the United States and water users' associations to repayment contracts, upon the request of the contractor, to allow for the prepayment of such contracts.

The bill amends the Reclamation Safety of Dams Act of 1978 to authorize Interior to develop additional project benefits through the construction of new or supplementary works.

Neither Interior nor USDA may condition or withhold issuance or renewal of any land use permit based on federal limitations or encumbrances or otherwise infringe on state water rights.