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108th Congress                                            Rept. 108-309
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

======================================================================



 
           TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY WATER COMMISSION ACT OF 2003

                                _______
                                

                October 8, 2003.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Pombo, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 135) to establish the ``Twenty-First Century Water 
Commission'' to study and develop recommendations for a 
comprehensive water strategy to address future water needs, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Twenty-First Century Water Commission 
Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress finds that--
          (1) the Nation's water resources will be under increasing 
        stress and pressure in the coming decades;
          (2) a thorough assessment of technological and economic 
        advances that can be employed to increase water supplies or 
        otherwise meet water needs in every region of the country is 
        important and long overdue; and
          (3) a comprehensive strategy to increase water availability 
        and ensure safe, adequate, reliable, and sustainable water 
        supplies is vital to the economic and environmental future of 
        the Nation.

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT.

  There is established a commission to be known as the ``Twenty-First 
Century Water Commission'' (in this Act referred to as the 
``Commission'').

SEC. 4. DUTIES.

  The duties of the Commission shall be to--
          (1) use existing water assessments and conduct such 
        additional assessments as may be necessary to project future 
        water supply and demand;
          (2) study current water management programs of Federal, 
        Interstate, State, and local agencies, and private sector 
        entities directed at increasing water supplies and improving 
        the availability, reliability, and quality of freshwater 
        resources; and
          (3) consult with representatives of such agencies and 
        entities to develop recommendations consistent with laws, 
        treaties, decrees, and interstate compacts for a comprehensive 
        water strategy which--
                  (A) respects the primary role of States in 
                adjudicating, administering, and regulating water 
                rights and water uses;
                  (B) identifies incentives intended to ensure an 
                adequate and dependable supply of water to meet the 
                needs of the United States for the next 50 years;
                  (C) suggests strategies that avoid increased mandates 
                on State and local governments;
                  (D) eliminates duplication and conflict among Federal 
                governmental programs;
                  (E) considers all available technologies and other 
                methods to optimize water supply reliability, 
                availability, and quality, while safeguarding the 
                environment;
                  (F) recommends means of capturing excess water and 
                flood water for conservation and use in the event of a 
                drought;
                  (G) suggests financing options for comprehensive 
                water management projects and for appropriate public 
                works projects;
                  (H) suggests strategies to conserve existing water 
                supplies, including recommendations for repairing aging 
                infrastructure; and
                  (I) includes other objectives related to the 
                effective management of the water supply to ensure 
                reliability, availability, and quality, which the 
                Commission shall consider appropriate.

SEC. 5. MEMBERSHIP.

  (a) Number and Appointment.--The Commission shall be composed of 9 
members who shall be appointed not later than 90 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act. Member shall be appointed as follows:
          (1) 5 members appointed by the President;
          (2) 2 members appointed by the Speaker of the House of 
        Representatives, in consultation with the Minority Leader of 
        the House of Representatives; and
          (3) 2 members appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate, 
        in consultation with the Minority Leader of the Senate.
  (b) Qualifications.--Members shall be appointed to the Commission 
from among individuals who--
          (1) are of recognized standing and distinction in water 
        policy issues; and
          (2) while serving on the Commission, do not hold any other 
        position as an officer or employee of the United States, except 
        as a retired officer or retired civilian employee of the United 
        States.
  (c) Other Considerations.--In appointing members of the Commission, 
every effort shall be made to ensure that the members represent a broad 
cross section of regional and geographical perspectives in the United 
States.
  (d) Chairperson.--The Chairperson of the Commission shall be 
designated by the President.
  (e) Terms.--Members of the Commission shall be appointed not later 
than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act and shall serve 
for the life of the Commission.
  (f) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the Commission shall not affect its 
operation, and shall be filled in the same manner as the original 
appointment provided under subsection (a).
  (g) Compensation and Travel Expenses.--Members of the Commission 
shall serve without compensation, except members shall receive travel 
expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with 
applicable provisions under subchapter I of chapter 57, United States 
Code.

SEC. 6. MEETINGS AND QUORUM.

  (a) Meetings.--The Commission shall hold its first meeting not later 
than 60 days after the date on which all members have been appointed 
under section 5, and shall hold additional meetings at the call of the 
Chairperson or a majority of its members.
  (b) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Commission shall 
constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

SEC. 7. DIRECTOR AND STAFF.

  A Director shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives and the Majority Leader of the Senate, in consultation 
with the Minority Leader and chairmen of the Resources and 
Transportation and Infrustructure Committees of the House of 
Representatives, and the Minority Leader and chairmen of the Energy and 
Natural Resources and Environment and Public Works Committees of the 
Senate. The Director and any staff reporting to the Director shall be 
paid a rate of pay not to exceed the maximum rate of basic pay for GS-
15 of the General Schedule.

SEC. 8. POWERS AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMISSION.

  (a) Hearings.--The Commission shall hold no fewer than 10 hearings 
during the life of the Commission. Hearings may be held in conjunction 
with meetings of the Commission. The Commission may take such testimony 
and receive such evidence as the Commission considers appropriate to 
carry out this Act. At least 1 hearing shall be held in Washington, 
D.C., for the purpose of taking testimony of representatives of Federal 
agencies, national organizations, and Members of Congress. Other 
hearings shall be scheduled in distinct geographical regions of the 
United States and should seek to ensure testimony from individuals with 
a diversity of experiences, including those who work on water issues at 
all levels of government and in the private sector.
  (b) Information and Support From Federal Agencies.--Upon request of 
the Commission, any Federal agency shall--
          (1) provide to the Commission, within 30 days of its request, 
        such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry 
        out the provisions of this Act; and
          (2) detail to temporary duty with the Commission on a 
        reimbursable basis such personnel as the Commission considers 
        necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act, in 
        accordance with section 5(b)(5), Appendix, title 5, United 
        States Code.

SEC. 9. REPORTS.

  (a) Interim Reports.--Not later than 6 months after the date of the 
first meeting of the Commission, and every 6 months thereafter, the 
Commission shall transmit an interim report containing a detailed 
summary of its progress, including meetings and hearings conducted in 
the interim period, to--
          (1) the President;
          (2) the Committee on Resources and the Committee on 
        Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
        Representatives; and
          (3) the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the 
        Committee on the Environment and Public Works of the Senate.
  (b) Final Report.--As soon as practicable, but not later than 3 years 
after the date of the first meeting of the Commission, the Commission 
shall transmit a final report containing a detailed statement of the 
findings and conclusions of the Commission, and recommendations for 
legislation and other policies to implement such findings and 
conclusions, to--
          (1) the President;
          (2) the Committee on Resources and the Committee on 
        Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
        Representatives; and
          (3) the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the 
        Committee on the Environment and Public Works of the Senate.

SEC. 10. TERMINATION.

   The Commission shall terminate not later than 30 days after the date 
on which the Commission transmits a final report under section 7(b).

SEC. 11. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

   There are authorized to be appropriated $9,000,000 to carry out this 
Act.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 135 is to establish the ``Twenty-First 
Century Water Commission'' to study and develop recommendations 
for a comprehensive water strategy to address future water 
needs.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    There are numerous federal, state and local agencies that 
have responsibilities for managing water resources. While there 
is some overlap of agency responsibilities, some argue that 
there is little coordination among them. At the same time, 
competing demands for water among various agricultural, urban, 
recreational and environmental interests have led to many 
challenges over the last few decades.
    H.R. 135 would establish the ``Twenty-First Century Water 
Policy Commission'' to study federal, state, local, and private 
water management programs in an effort to develop 
recommendations for a comprehensive water strategy that: (1) 
Respects the primary role of states in water rights law; (2) 
identifies incentives to ensure an adequate and dependable 
domestic water supply for 50 years; (3) does not place 
increased mandates on state and local governments; (4) 
eliminates duplication and conflict among governmental 
agencies; (5) considers all available technologies for 
increasing water supply efficiently, while safeguarding the 
environment; (6) recommends means of capturing excess water for 
future droughts; (7) suggests financing options for public 
works projects; and (8) suggests conservation strategies.
    H.R. 135, as ordered reported from the Committee on 
Resources, attempts to reduce these challenges by creating a 
commission to recommend improved interagency coordination and 
planning through a comprehensive, national water policy. 
Specifically, this legislation would establish a commission of 
nine non-federal water experts to recommend policies to meet 
the above objectives in a national water strategy. The bill 
stipulates that the President of the United States and the U. 
S. Congress shall make every effort possible to appoint these 
commissioners from a broad cross-section of regional and 
geographical U.S. perspectives. The Commission is directed to 
hold no less than ten public hearings around the nation and 
submit a final report no later than three years after its first 
meeting. The legislation sunsets the Commission within 30 days 
of the final report's submission.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 135 was introduced by Congressman John Linder (R-GA) 
on January 7, 2003 . The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Resources, and additionally to the Committee on Transportation 
and Infrastructure. With the Resources Committee, the bill was 
referred to the Subcommittee on Water and Power. On April 1, 
2003, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On April 3, 
2003, the Subcommittee met to mark up the bill. No amendments 
were offered and the bill was then forwarded to the Full 
Resources Committee by voice vote. On September 24, 2003, the 
Full Resources Committee met to mark up the bill. Subcommittee 
Chairman Ken Calvert offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute to authorize Congressional appointments to an 
expanded nine-member commission. The amendment also gives the 
Commission responsibility to examine ways to improve the 
availability, reliability and quality of freshwater resources 
while adding provisions respecting the primary role of State 
regulation of water and water rights. The amendment was agreed 
to by unanimous consent. The bill, as amended, was then ordered 
favorably reported to the House of Representatives, as amended, 
by unanimous consent.

                           SECTION-BY-SECTION

Section 1. Short title

    This Act may be cited as the ``Twenty-First Century Water 
Commission Act of 2003''.

Section 2. Findings

    This section summarizes the need for the legislation.

Section 3. Establishment

    This section establishes a commission to be known as the 
``Twenty-First Century Water Commission.''

Section 4. Duties

    This section outlines the roles and responsibilities of the 
Commission.

Section 5. Membership

    This section provides a description of the composition and 
make-up of the Commission. The section describes the number and 
appointment of Commission members, qualifications, chairperson 
selection, terms of appointment, conditions for vacancies, 
monetary compensation and travel expenses, and other 
considerations.

Section 6. Meetings and quorum

    This section provides the requirements of meetings, 
including notices. The first meeting of the Commission is to be 
held not later than 60 days after the appointment of all 
members.

Section 7. Director and staff

    This section provides for the appointment of a Director and 
staff, if necessary, and the manner in which compensation will 
be paid for their services.

Section 8. Powers and proceedings of the Commission

    This section provides that the Commission shall hold no 
fewer than 10 hearings during its life. The Commission may take 
testimony and receive such evidence as is necessary and 
appropriate to carry out the Act. At least one hearing shall be 
held in Washington, D.C. Other hearings will be held at other 
distinct areas of the United States and should seek to ensure 
testimony from individuals with a diversity of experiences. The 
Commission, if necessary, can utilize information and support 
from appropriate federal agencies.

Section 9. Reports

    This section provides for the requirement of interim 
reports which contain a detailed summary of the Commission's 
progress, including meetings and hearings. The first interim 
report of the Commission will be completed not later than six 
months after the date of the first meeting, and subsequent 
interim reports will be completed every six months thereafter. 
Not later than three years after the date of the first meeting 
of the Commission, a final report shall be prepared containing 
findings and conclusions of the Commission, and recommendations 
for implementing final report findings and conclusions. Interim 
reports and the final report will be transmitted to the 
President, the Committee on Resources and Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives, and the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources and the Committee on the Environment and Public Works 
of the Senate.

Section 10. Termination

    This section provides the Commission shall terminate not 
later than 30 days following transmittal of the Commission's 
final report.

Section 11. Authorization of appropriations

    This section provides an authorization to be appropriated 
$9 million to carry out this Act.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                  FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    The functions of the proposed advisory committee authorized 
in the bill are not currently being nor could they be performed 
by one or more agencies, an advisory committee already in 
existence, or by enlarging the mandate of an existing advisory 
committee.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that Rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to establish the ``Twenty-First 
Century Water Commission'' to study and develop recommendations 
for a comprehensive water strategy to address future water 
needs.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 30, 2003.
Hon. Richard W. Pombo,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 135, the Twenty-
first Century Water Commission Act of 2003.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff is Rachel Milberg.
            Sincerely,
                                      Elizabeth M. Robinson
                               (For Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 135--Twenty-First Century Water Commission Act of 2003

    Summary: H.R. 135 would authorize the establishment of a 
commission to project the future supply of water, study the 
current management of the water supply, and issue a report that 
provides a comprehensive strategy for managing water. For the 
activities of this commission, the bill would authorize the 
appropriation of $9 million.
    Assuming appropriation of the amount specified in the bill, 
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 135 would cost $9 million 
over the 2004-2008 period. Enacting H.R. 135 would not affect 
direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 135 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 135 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       By fiscal year in millions of dollars--
                                                                    --------------------------------------------
                                                                       2004     2005     2006     2007     2008
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level......................................        I        2        2        2        2
Estimated Outlays..................................................      (*)        2        2        3        2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: * = less than $500,000.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
135 will be enacted near the beginning of fiscal year 2004 and 
that the amounts authorized in the bill will be appropriated 
over the next several years. Estimates of spending are based on 
historical spending patterns of similar programs.
    H.R. 135 would require the President and Congressional 
leaders to appoint all nine members of the commission before it 
could meet. CBO expects that the commission would hold its 
first meeting in the second half of fiscal year 2004. 
Consequently, we estimate that the commission would incur no 
significant costs until 2005.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 135 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Rachel Milberg; impact 
on state, local, and tribal Governments: Majorie Miller; impact 
on the private sector: Cecil McPherson.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any state, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.