Text: S.1570 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Reported to Senate (10/29/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 1570 Reported in Senate (RS)]

<DOC>





                                                       Calendar No. 276
116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1570

                          [Report No. 116-155]

To provide flexibility to allow greater aquifer recharge, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                              May 21, 2019

   Mr. Risch introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
       referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

                            October 29, 2019

              Reported by Ms. Murkowski, with an amendment
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To provide flexibility to allow greater aquifer recharge, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

<DELETED>SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    This Act may be cited as the ``Aquifer Recharge 
Flexibility Act''.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    In this Act:</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) Bureau.--The term ``Bureau'' means the Bureau 
        of Reclamation.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) Commissioner.--The term ``Commissioner'' means 
        the Commissioner of the Bureau.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) Eligible land.--The term ``eligible land'', 
        with respect to a Reclamation project, means land that--
        </DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) is authorized to receive water under 
                State law; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) shares a groundwater source with land 
                located in the service area of the Reclamation 
                project.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) In-lieu recharge.--The term ``in-lieu 
        recharge'' means the use of surface water instead of pumped 
        groundwater if that use of surface water will cause the direct 
        reduction or elimination of groundwater withdrawals.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (5) Net water storage benefit.--The term ``net 
        water storage benefit'' means an increase in the volume of 
        water that is--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) stored in 1 or more aquifers; 
                and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B)(i) available for use within the area 
                served by a Reclamation project; or</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (ii) stored on a long term basis to avoid 
                or reduce groundwater overdraft.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (6) Reclamation facility.--The term ``Reclamation 
        facility'' means each of the infrastructure assets that are 
        owned by the Bureau at a Reclamation project.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (7) Reclamation project.--The term ``Reclamation 
        project'' means any reclamation or irrigation project, 
        including incidental features thereof, authorized by Federal 
        reclamation law, or constructed by the United States pursuant 
        to such law, or in connection with which there is a repayment 
        or water service contract executed by the United States 
        pursuant to such law, or any project constructed by the 
        Secretary through the Bureau of Reclamation for the reclamation 
        of land.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (8) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the 
        Secretary of the Interior.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 3. FLEXIBILITY TO ALLOW GREATER AQUIFER RECHARGE IN 
              WESTERN STATES.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) Use of Bureau Facilities.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) In general.--The Commissioner may allow the 
        use of excess capacity in Bureau conveyance facilities for 
        carriage of non-Reclamation project water for aquifer recharge, 
        subject to applicable rates, charges, and public participation 
        requirements, on the condition that--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) the use--</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (i) shall not be implemented in a 
                        manner that is detrimental to--</DELETED>
                                <DELETED>    (I) any water or power 
                                service contract for the Reclamation 
                                project; or</DELETED>
                                <DELETED>    (II) any existing 
                                obligations for fish, wildlife, or 
                                water quality protection;</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (ii) shall be consistent with 
                        existing water quality guidelines for the 
                        Reclamation project; and</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (iii) shall comply with all 
                        applicable Federal and State law and policies 
                        of the Bureau of Reclamation; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) the non-Federal party to an existing 
                contract for water or water capacity in a Reclamation 
                facility shall consent to the use of the Reclamation 
                facility under this subsection.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) Effect on existing contracts.--Nothing in this 
        subsection affects a contract--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) in effect on the date of enactment of 
                this Act; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) under which the use of excess capacity 
                in a Bureau conveyance facility for carriage of non-
                Reclamation project water for aquifer recharge is 
                allowed.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (b) Aquifer Recharge on Eligible Land.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) In general.--Subject to paragraphs (3) and 
        (4), a holder of a water service or repayment contract for a 
        Reclamation project may--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) directly use water available under the 
                contract for aquifer recharge on eligible land; 
                or</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) enter into an agreement with an 
                individual or entity to transfer water available under 
                the contract for aquifer recharge on eligible 
                land.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) Authorized project use.--Notwithstanding any 
        other provision of law, the use of water for aquifer recharge 
        under paragraph (1) shall be considered an authorized use for 
        the Reclamation project under the reclamation laws.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) Modifications to contracts.--The Secretary may 
        modify an existing water contract described in paragraph (1) if 
        the Secretary determines that the modification is--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) necessary to allow for the use of 
                water available under the contract for aquifer recharge 
                under this subsection;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) in the best interest of the 
                Reclamation project and the United States; 
                and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) approved by the association of water 
                users that is responsible for repaying the cost of 
                construction, operations, and maintenance of the 
                facility that delivers the water under the 
                contract.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) Requirements.--The use or transfer of water 
        for aquifer recharge under this subsection shall be subject to 
        the requirements that--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) the use or transfer shall not be 
                implemented in a manner that is detrimental to any 
                water or power service for the Reclamation project; 
                and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) before the use or transfer, the 
                Secretary shall determine that the use or transfer--
                </DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (i)(I) results in a net water 
                        storage benefit for the Reclamation project; 
                        or</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (II) contributes to the recharge 
                        of a depleted aquifer on eligible land; 
                        and</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (ii) complies with all applicable 
                        Federal and State laws and policies.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (c) In-Lieu Recharge.--To the extent consistent with State 
laws and policies, in-lieu recharge may be carried out under this 
Act.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (d) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) the Secretary should encourage the use of 
        public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management for 
        aquifer recharge, where appropriate, consistent with--
        </DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) the existing grant of right-of-
                way;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) as applicable, the Federal Land Policy 
                and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.); 
                and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) applicable land and resource 
                management plans; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) the Secretary should consider whether aquifer 
        recharge may be appropriate in certain areas of critical 
        environmental concern, if aquifer recharge--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) would enhance the values for which the 
                area of critical environmental concern has been 
                designated; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) is consistent with the management 
                requirements for the area of critical environmental 
                concern.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (e) Conveyance for Aquifer Recharge Purposes.--The holder 
of a right-of-way, easement, permit, or other authorization to 
transport water across public land administered by the Bureau of Land 
Management is authorized to transport water for aquifer recharge 
purposes, including outside of the regular period of use, without 
requiring additional authorization from the Secretary where the use 
does not expand or interfere with the operation of the right-of-way, 
easement, permit, or other authorization across public land.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (f) Exemption.--This Act shall not apply to the State of 
California.</DELETED>

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Aquifer Recharge Flexibility Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Bureau.--The term ``Bureau'' means the Bureau of 
        Reclamation.
            (2) Commissioner.--The term ``Commissioner'' means the 
        Commissioner of Reclamation.
            (3) Eligible land.--The term ``eligible land'', with 
        respect to a Reclamation project, means land that--
                    (A) is authorized to receive water under State law; 
                and
                    (B) shares an aquifer with land located in the 
                service area of the Reclamation project.
            (4) Net water storage benefit.--The term ``net water 
        storage benefit'' means an increase in the volume of water that 
        is--
                    (A) stored in 1 or more aquifers; and
                    (B)(i) available for use within the authorized 
                service area of a Reclamation project; or
                    (ii) stored on a long-term basis to avoid or reduce 
                groundwater overdraft.
            (5) Reclamation facility.--The term ``Reclamation 
        facility'' means each of the infrastructure assets that are 
        owned by the Bureau at a Reclamation project.
            (6) Reclamation project.--The term ``Reclamation project'' 
        means any reclamation or irrigation project, including 
        incidental features thereof, authorized by Federal reclamation 
        law or the Act of August 11, 1939 (commonly known as the 
        ``Water Conservation and Utilization Act'') (53 Stat. 1418, 
        chapter 717; 16 U.S.C. 590y et seq.), or constructed by the 
        United States pursuant to such law, or in connection with which 
        there is a repayment or water service contract executed by the 
        United States pursuant to such law, or any project constructed 
        by the Secretary through the Bureau for the reclamation of 
        land.
            (7) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.

SEC. 3. FLEXIBILITY TO ALLOW GREATER AQUIFER RECHARGE IN WESTERN 
              STATES.

    (a) Use of Reclamation Facilities.--
            (1) In general.--The Commissioner may allow the use of 
        excess capacity in Reclamation facilities for aquifer recharge 
        of non-Reclamation project water, subject to applicable rates, 
        charges, and public participation requirements, on the 
        condition that--
                    (A) the use--
                            (i) shall not be implemented in a manner 
                        that is detrimental to--
                                    (I) any power service or water 
                                contract for the Reclamation project; 
                                or
                                    (II) any obligations for fish, 
                                wildlife, or water quality protection 
                                applicable to the Reclamation project;
                            (ii) shall be consistent with water quality 
                        guidelines for the Reclamation project;
                            (iii) shall comply with all applicable--
                                    (I) Federal laws; and
                                    (II) policies of the Bureau; and
                            (iv) shall comply with all applicable State 
                        laws and policies; and
                    (B) the non-Federal party to an existing contract 
                for water or water capacity in a Reclamation facility 
                consents to the use of the Reclamation facility under 
                this subsection.
            (2) Effect on existing contracts.--Nothing in this 
        subsection affects a contract--
                    (A) in effect on the date of enactment of this Act; 
                and
                    (B) under which the use of excess capacity in a 
                Bureau conveyance facility for carriage of non-
                Reclamation project water for aquifer recharge is 
                allowed.
    (b) Aquifer Recharge on Eligible Land.--
            (1) In general.--Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the 
        Secretary may contract with a holder of a water service or 
        repayment contract for a Reclamation project to allow the 
        contractor, in accordance with applicable State laws and 
        policies--
                    (A) to directly use water available under the 
                contract for aquifer recharge on eligible land; or
                    (B) to enter into an agreement with an individual 
                or entity to transfer water available under the 
                contract for aquifer recharge on eligible land.
            (2) Authorized project use.--The use of a Reclamation 
        facility for aquifer recharge under paragraph (1) shall be 
        considered an authorized use for the Reclamation project if 
        requested by a holder of a water service or repayment contract 
        for the Reclamation facility.
            (3) Modifications to contracts.--The Secretary may contract 
        with a holder of a water service or repayment contract for a 
        Reclamation project under paragraph (1) if the Secretary 
        determines that a new contract or contract amendment described 
        in that paragraph is--
                    (A) necessary to allow for the use of water 
                available under the contract for aquifer recharge under 
                this subsection;
                    (B) in the best interest of the Reclamation project 
                and the United States; and
                    (C) approved by the contractor that is responsible 
                for repaying the cost of construction, operations, and 
                maintenance of the facility that delivers the water 
                under the contract.
            (4) Requirements.--The use of Reclamation facilities for 
        the use or transfer of water for aquifer recharge under this 
        subsection shall be subject to the requirements that--
                    (A) the use or transfer shall not be implemented in 
                a manner that materially impacts any power service or 
                water contract for the Reclamation project; and
                    (B) before the use or transfer, the Secretary shall 
                determine that the use or transfer--
                            (i) results in a net water storage benefit 
                        for the Reclamation project; or
                            (ii) contributes to the recharge of an 
                        aquifer on eligible land; and
                    (C) the use or transfer complies with all 
                applicable--
                            (i) Federal laws and policies; and
                            (ii) interstate water compacts.
    (c) Conveyance for Aquifer Recharge Purposes.--The holder of a 
right-of-way, easement, permit, or other authorization to transport 
water across public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management 
may transport water for aquifer recharge purposes without requiring 
additional authorization from the Secretary where the use does not 
expand or modify the operation of the right-of-way, easement, permit, 
or other authorization across public land.
    (d) Effect.--Nothing in this Act creates, impairs, alters, or 
supersedes a Federal or State water right.
    (e) Exemption.--This Act shall not apply to the State of 
California.
                                                       Calendar No. 276

116th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                                S. 1570

                          [Report No. 116-155]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

To provide flexibility to allow greater aquifer recharge, and for other 
                               purposes.

_______________________________________________________________________

                            October 29, 2019

                       Reported with an amendment

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