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Calendar No. 450
106th Congress Report
2d Session 106-234
HAWAII WATER RESOURCES RECLAMATION ACT OF 1999
March 9, 2000.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 1694]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 1694) to direct the Secretary of the
Interior to conduct a study on the reclamation and reuse of
water and waste-water in the State of Hawaii, having considered
the same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and
recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.
The amendment is as follows:
On page 3, line 23, delete ``1 year after the date of
enactment of this Act,'' and replace with ``2 years after
appropriation of funds authorized by this Act,''.
Purpose of the Measure
S. 1694, the Hawaii Water Resources Reclamation Act,
authorizes the Bureau of Reclamation to survey irrigation and
water delivery systems in Hawaii, identify the cost of
rehabilitating the systems, and evaluate demand for their
future use. The bill also instructs the Bureau to identify new
opportunities for reclamation and reuse of water and wastewater
for agricultural and non-agricultural purposes. Finally, the
bill authorizes the Bureau to conduct emergency drought relief
Background and Need
S. 1694 would amend Title XVI of the Reclamation Wastewater
and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act (P.L. 102-575) to
include Hawaii as one of the states eligible to participate in
the Bureau of Reclamation's Title XVI program, to help
alleviate some of the economic distress facing rural Hawaii as
a result of the decline of sugar production. In the past
decade, acreage in production has declined from 180,000 acres
of cane in 1989 to 60,000 acres today.
As Carol Wilcox, author of the definitive history of
irrigation in Hawaii noted in her recent book Sugar Water, the
cultivation of sugarcane dominated Hawaii's agricultural
landscape for the last 25 years of the 19th century and for
most of this century as well. ``Sugar was the greatest single
force at work in Hawaii,'' she wrote, and water was essential
to this development.
The face of Hawaii agriculture is changing, however, and
diversified agriculture is beginning to fill some of the void
left by the decline of the sugar industry. Farm receipts from
diversified crops rose an average of 5.5 percent annually for
the past three years, surpassing the $300 million mark for the
first time. Hawaii still grows sugarcane, but many believe
diversified farming represents the future of Hawaii
agriculture. This restructuring of agriculture has prompted new
and shifting demands for agricultural water and a broad
reevaluation of the use of Hawaii's fresh water resources.
While the Bureau of Reclamation played a modest role in
Hawaii water resource development, sugar plantations and
private irrigation companies were responsible for constructing,
operating, and maintaining nearly all of Hawaii's agricultural
irrigation systems. Over a period of 90 years, beginning in
1856, more than 75 ditches, reservoirs, and groundwater systems
Although Hawaii's irrigation systems are called ditches,
the use of this term misrepresents their magnitude. Hawaii's
largest ditch system, the East Maui Irrigation Company,
operates a network of six ditches on the north flank of
Haleakala Crater. The broad scope of East Maui Irrigation (EMI)
is extensively chronicled in Sugar Water:
Among the water entities, none compares to EMI. It is
the largest privately owned water company in the United
States, perhaps in the world. The total delivery
capacity is 445 mgd. The average daily water delivery
under median weather conditions is 160 mgd * * * Its
largest ditch, the Wailoa Canal, has a greater median
flow (170 mgd) than any river in Hawaii * * * The [EMI]
replacement cost is estimated to be at $200 million.
Most of Hawaii's irrigation systems are in disrepair. Some
have been abandoned. Those that no longer irrigate cane lands
may not effectively serve the new generation of Hawaii farmers,
either because little or no water reaches new farms or because
the ditches have not been repaired or maintained.
Hawaii's relationship with the Bureau of Reclamation dates
from 1939, when the agency proposed developing an aqueduct on
Molokai to serve 16,000 acres of federally managed Hawaiian
Home Lands. While this project did not proceed, in 1954
Congress directed the Bureau to investigate irrigation and
reclamation needs for three of our islands: Oahu, Hawaii, and
Molokai. A Federal reclamation project on the Island of Molokai
was eventually constructed in response to this investigation.
The project continues in operation today.
In the first session of Congress following Hawaii's
statehood, legislation authorizing the Secretary of the
Interior to develop reclamation projects in Hawaii under the
Small Reclamation Projects Act was signed into law. The most
recent interaction with the Bureau occurred in 1995 when
Congress authorized the Secretary to allow Native Hawaiians the
same favorable cost recovery for reclamation projects as
Indians or Indian tribes.
S. 1694 was introduced by Senator Akaka on October 6, 1999.
A hearing was held in the Water and Power Subcommittee on
October 20, 1999. At the business meeting on February 10, 2000,
the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 1694,
as amended, favorably reported.
Committee Recommendation and Tabulation of Votes
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open
business session on February 10, 2000, by a unanimous voice
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S.
1694, if amended as described herein.
During the consideration of S. 1694, the Committee adopted
an amendment to provide the Secretary with two years, instead
of one year, to submit the report called for by the
legislation. The amendment also starts the clock running on the
report when funds become available rather than after enactment.
This amendment was made at the request of the Administration.
Section 1 designates the short title.
Section 2 contains findings.
Section 3 defines terms used in the bill.
Section 4(a) directs the Secretary of the Interior, acting
through the Bureau of Reclamation to conduct a study that
includes: (1) a survey of irrigation and water delivery systems
in the State of Hawaii; (2) estimates of cost of repair and
rehabilitation of such systems; (3) an evaluation of options
for future use of irrigation and water delivery systems in
Hawaii; and (4) the identification and investigation of other
opportunities for reclamation and reuse of water and wastewater
for agriculture and nonagricultural purposes.
Section 4(b) provides that two years after funds become
available, the Secretary is required to submit a report on the
findings of the study to the Senate Energy and Natural
Resources Committee and the House Resources Committee.
Section 5 amends the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater
Study and Facilities Act to include Hawaii in the Bureau of
Reclamation's wastewater reclamation program.
Section 6 amends the Reclamation States Emergency Drought
Relief Act of 1991 to extend drought relief programs and
Cost and Budgetary Considerations
The following estimate of costs of this measure has been
provided by the Congressional Budget Office.
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, February 22, 2000.
Hon. Frank H. Murkowski,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senate,
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1694, the Hawaii
Water Resources Reclamation Act of 1999.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan
Barry B. Anderson
(For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
S. 1694--Hawaii Water Resources Reclamation Act of 1999
CBO estimates that implementing S. 1694 would have no
significant impact on the federal budget. Because the bill
would not affect direct spending or receipts, pay-as-you-go
procedures would not apply. S. 1694 contains no
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on
state, local, or tribal governments.
S. 1694 would authorize the appropriation of necessary sums
for the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of water
resources in the state of Hawaii and report to the Congress
within two years from the time when such sums are provided.
Based on information from the Bureau of Reclamation, CBO
estimates that these activities would cost a total of $400,000
over two years, assuming appropriation of the necessary
The bill also would permit the state of Hawaii to request
emergency assistance from the bureau under the Reclamation
states Emergency Drought Relief Act. Any such assistance
provided to the State would be subject to the availability of
appropriations. The 17 states currently eligible for such
assistance received a total appropriation of $3 million in
2000. CBO estimates that making Hawaii eligible for this type
of assistance would not significantly affect federal costs.
The CBO staff contact is Megan Carroll. This estimate was
approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Assistant Director for Budget
Regulatory Impact Evaluation
In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in
carrying out S. 1694. The bill is not a regulatory measure in
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of S. 1694, as ordered reported.
On October 18, 1999, the Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of
the Interior and the Office of Management and Budget setting
forth Executive agency recommendations on S. 1694. These
reports had not been received at the time the report on S. 1694
was filed. When the reports become available, the Chairman will
request that they be printed in the Congressional Record for
the advice of the Senate. The testimony provided by the
Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation at the Subcommittee
Statement of Eluid Martinez, Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S.
Department of the Interior
I am Eluid Martinez, Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation (Reclamation). I appreciate the opportunity to
present the views of the Department of the Interior
(Department) on S. 1694, the ``Hawaii Water Resources
Reclamation Act of 1999''. The Department has concerns with the
bill, in that it would require Reclamation to carry out new
activities outside the 17 western states where Reclamation has
ongoing legal and contractual responsibilities.
S. 1694 directs the Secretary of the Interior, acting
through the Bureau of Reclamation, to conduct a study on water
resources in the State of Hawaii, and provide a report to
Congress with findings and recommendations. The Reclamation
study is to survey and identify existing irrigation and water
delivery systems in Hawaii, identify the cost of rehabilitating
the water delivery systems, and evaluate options for future use
of the irrigation and water delivery systems (including
alternatives that would improve the use and conservation of
water resources). S. 1694 also amends Title XVI of Public Law
102-575 to authorize the Secretary to identify new
opportunities for reclamation and reuse of water and wastewater
for agriculture and non-agricultural purposes in Hawaii.
Reclamation supports a consistent and equitable approach to
assessing feasibility and establishing priorities for the Title
S. 1694 also permits Hawaii to participate in drought
relief programs and activities authorized in the Reclamation
States Emergency Drought Relief Act (Public Law 10-250) for the
17 Reclamation states. The bill would extend the authorization
for the drought program for an additional three years through
Thank you for the opportunity to present the Department's
views on S. 1694.
Changes in Existing Law
In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by
the bill S. 1694, as ordered reported, are shown as follows
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):
* * * * * * *
Sec. 390h. Wastewater and groundwater study and facilities; general
(a) Establishment of Wastewater Program.--The Secretary of
the Interior (hereafter ``Secretary''), acting pursuant to the
Reclamation Act of 1902 (Act of June 17, 1902, 32 Stat. 388)
and Acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto
(hereafter ``Federal reclamation laws''), is directed to
undertake a program to investigate and identify opportunities
for reclamation and reuse of municipal, industrial, domestic,
and agricultural wastewater, and naturally impaired ground and
surface waters, for the design and construction of
demonstration and permanent facilities to reclaim and reuse
wastewater, and to conduct research, including desalting, for
the reclamation of wastewater and naturally impaired ground and
(b) Limitation of Program.--Such program shall be limited
to the States and areas referred to in section 1 of the
Reclamation Act of 1902 (Act of June 17, 1902, 32 Stat. 388) as
amended [43 U.S.C.A. Sec. 391], and the State of Hawaii.
* * * * * * *
Sec. 2214. Applicable period of drought program
(a) In General.--The programs and authorities established
under this subchapter shall become operative in any Reclamation
State and in the State of Hawaii only after the Governor or
Governors of the affected State or States, or on a reservation,
when the governing body of the affected tribe has made a
request for temporary drought assistance and the Secretary has
determined that such temporary assistance is merited, or upon
the approval of a drought contingency plan as provided in
subchapter II of this chapter.
(b) Coordination With BPA.--If a Governor referred to in
subsection (a) of this section is the Governor of the State of
Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or Montana, the Governor shall
coordinate with the Administrator of the Bonneville Power
Administration before making a request under subsection (a) of
(c) Termination of Authority.--The authorities established
under this subchapter shall terminate [ten years after the date
of enactment of this Act] on September 30, 2005.