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                                                       Calendar No. 603
108th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     108-288
======================================================================

 
     AMENDING THE RECLAMATION WASTEWATER AND GROUNDWATER STUDY AND 
     FACILITIES ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO 
PARTICIPATE IN THE WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS, WATER RECYCLING AND REUSE 
                    PROJECT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

                 June 25, 2004.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Domenici, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1732]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the Act (H.R. 1732) to amend the Reclamation 
Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to 
authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the 
Williamson County Texas, Water Recycling and Reuse Project, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that Act do 
pass.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of H.R. 1732 is to amend the Reclamation 
Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to 
authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the 
design, planning, and construction of the Williamson County, 
Texas, Water Recycling and Reuse Project.

                          Background and Need

    The Lower Colorado River Authority (``LCRA'') generates 
wholesale electric power for more than 1 million people in a 
service area covering all or parts of 58 counties. 
Additionally, the LCRA manages a 600-mile portion of the Texas 
Colorado River and owns or operates 35 water/wastewater systems 
serving approximately 122,000 residents in 11 counties.
    Studies under a State-mandated planning process show that 
current water supplies for Williamson County will only be 
sufficient through 2017. The studies identified water recycling 
as an alternative water supply for Williamson County. According 
to proponents of the legislation, the use of the project's 
recycled water will be a reliable source of irrigation for 
parks, school athletic fields, and golf courses.
    The proposed project has regional support and is expected 
to be completed in two stages. LCRA estimates this the project 
will save approximately 5,000 acre-feet on an annual basis. The 
project is estimated to cost $29 million, and the LCRA has 
testified that it will commit to $21.5 million in local 
funding. The Federal share of project costs may not exceed 25 
percent.

                          Legislative History

    H.R. 1732, the Williamson County Water Recycling Act of 
2003, was introduced by Representative Carter (R-TX) on April 
10, 2003, and referred to the House Committee on Resources. The 
Resources Committee discharged the bill on November 17, 2003, 
and the House passed it under suspension on the same day. On 
November 18, 2003, H.R. 1732 was received in the Senate and 
referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. A 
hearing on H.R. 1732 was conducted by the Water and Power 
Subcommittee on May 19, 2004. The Energy and Natural Resources 
Committee, on June 16, 2004, by a unanimous vote of a quorum 
present, favorably reported H.R. 1732.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in an 
open business session on June 16, 2004, by a unanimous voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 
1732.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1(a) contains the short title.
    Subsection 1(b) amends the Reclamation Wastewater and 
Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary 
of the Interior, in cooperation with the LCRA, to participate 
in the design, planning, and construction of permanent 
facilities to reclaim and reuse water in Williamson County, 
Texas. The Federal share of project costs is limited to 25 
percent of the total and the Secretary is prohibited from 
providing funds for project operation and maintenance.
    Section 2 amends the table of sections in the Reclamation 
Projects Authorization and Adjustment Act of 1992 to reflect 
the Williamson County, Texas, Water Recycling and Reuse 
Project.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 18, 2004.
Hon. Pete V. Domenici,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1732, the 
Williamson County Water Recycling Act of 2003.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Julie 
Middleton.
            Sincerely,
                                         Elizabeth Robinson
                               (For Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1732--Williamson County Water Recycling Act of 2003

    Summary: H.R. 1732 would authorize federal participation in 
the design, planning, and construction of a project to reclaim 
and reuse wastewater that would be carried out by the Lower 
Colorado River Authority in Williamson County, Texas. The act 
would limit the federal share of those costs to 25 percent and 
would prohibit the use of the federal funds for operating or 
maintaining the project.
    Assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 1732 would cost about $8 
million over the 2005-2009 period. Enacting H.R. 1732 would not 
affect direct spending or revenues. H.R. 1732 contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). The participating 
communities in Texas might incur some costs to match the 
federal funds authorized by this act, but these costs would be 
voluntary.
    Estimated Cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1732 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--
                                                                    --------------------------------------------
                                                                       2005     2006     2007     2008     2009
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level......................................        2        2        2        2        0
Estimated Outlays..................................................        2        2        2        2        0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
1732 will be enacted near the end of 2004 and that the 
necessary funds will be appropriated for each year. H.R. 1732 
would limit the federal share of costs to 25 percent of the 
total cost to plan, design, and construct a wastewater 
reclamation project in Williamson County, Texas. Based on 
information from the Bureau of Reclamation, CBO estimates that 
the total cost of the project would be approximately $30 
million and the maximum federal share would be $8 million. CBO 
expects that it will take approximately four years to complete 
all phases of this project. For this estimate, CBO asssumes 
that funds will be appropriated in equal installments over that 
period to complete the project.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1732 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. The participating communities in Texas might 
incur some costs to match the federal funds authorized by this 
act, but these costs would be voluntary.
    Previous CBO estimate: On November 6, 2003, CBO transmitted 
a cost estimate for H.R. 1732 as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on Resources on October 29, 2003. Except for a change 
in the assumed enactment date, the cost estimates are 
identical.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Julie Middleton; 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Majorie Miller; 
and Impact on the Private Sector: Crystal Taylor.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      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 H.R. 1732. The Act is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing government-established standards or 
significant responsibilities on private individuals and 
businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of H.R. 1732.

                        Executive Communications

    On June 16, 2004, the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of 
the Interior setting forth executive views on H.R. 1732. This 
report had not been received at the time the report on H.R. 
1732 was filed. When the report becomes available, the Chairman 
will request that it be printed in the Congressional Record for 
the advice of the Senate. The testimony provided by the Bureau 
of Reclamation at the Subcommittee hearing follows:

   Statement of John W. Keys III, Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation

    My name is John Keys III. I am the Commissioner of the 
Bureau of Reclamation. I am pleased to present the views of the 
Department of the Interior on H.R. 1732, concerning the 
Williamson County water reclamation project in the State of 
Texas.
    H.R. 1732 would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and 
Groundwater Study and Facilities Act (Title XVI of Public Law 
102-575), authorizing the Secretary of the Interior in 
cooperation with the Lower Colorado River Authority, to 
participate in the design, planning, and construction of a 
water reclamation project in Williamson County, Texas. H.R. 
1732 limits the Federal share of project costs to 25 percent of 
the total project costs and restricts the Secretary from 
providing funding for the operation and maintenance. 
Additionally, existing law, section 1631 of Public Law 102-575, 
limits the Federal share of project costs to not exceed $20 
million (October 1996 prices).
    The Lower Colorado River Authority has developed conceptual 
plans for the project, and Reclamation has completed a cursory 
review of this proposal. Reclamation has not yet conducted an 
appraisal level study. This appraisal study would be needed to 
determine if the preliminary work initiated by the Lower 
Colorado River Authority meets Reclamation's requirements and 
to evaluate the potential for a feasibility study per criteria 
developed in accordance with Title XVI of P.L. 102-575. In that 
respect, until we have more information, we cannot comment on 
the merits of the project itself and therefore cannot support 
H.R. 1732.
    The Department also believes enactment of this legislation 
authorizing new construction projects is likely to place an 
additional burden on Reclamation's already constrained budget. 
With the tremendous backlog of Title XVI projects that already 
exist (currently estimated at about $2.6 billion), we do not 
support the addition of new wastewater projects at this time.
    For the record, Mr. Chairman, in 1992, the Reclamation 
Projects Authorization and Adjustment Act (Public Law 102-575) 
was enacted. Title XVI of this Act, the Reclamation Wastewater 
and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act, authorized 
construction of five water reclamation and reuse projects. The 
Secretary was also authorized to undertake a program to 
identify other water recycling opportunities throughout the 17 
western United States and to conduct appraisal level and 
feasibility level studies to determine if those opportunities 
are worthy of implementation. In addition, the Secretary was 
authorized to conduct research and to construct, operate, and 
maintain demonstration projects. Reclamation has been 
administering a grant program to fund these Title XVI 
activities since FY 1994.
    In 1996, Public Law 104-266, the Reclamation Recycling and 
Water Conservation Act, was enacted. This Act amended Title XVI 
and authorized the Secretary to participate in the planning, 
design, and construction of 18 additional projects, including 
two desalination research and development projects. To date, 
Congress has provided funding to plan or construct 19 of 25 
specifically authorized projects. Under the general authority 
of Title XVI, funding has been provided to identify and 
investigate, at the appraisal or feasibility level, eight 
potential water recycling projects, and to conduct three 
research and demonstration projects.
    In summary, the Department strongly encourages local water 
recycling efforts and is engaged in numerous water reuse and 
recycling projects around the West. However, for the reasons 
provided above, the Department cannot, at this time, support 
authorizing this new request for Federally-assisted 
construction.
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on H.R. 1732. This 
concludes my statement and I would be happy to answer any 
questions.

                        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 
H.R. 1732, 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):

     RECLAMATION PROJECTS AUTHORIZATION AND ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1992


Public Law 102-575; 106 Stat. 4664

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 2. DEFINITION AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            TABLE OF CONTENTS

     * * * * * * *

        TITLE XVI--RECLAMATION WASTEWATER AND GROUNDWATER STUDIES

Sec. 1601. Short title
     * * * * * * *
1636. Williamson County, Texas, Water Recycling and Reuse Project.
     * * * * * * *

TITLE XVI--RECLAMATION WASTEWATER AND GROUNDWATER STUDIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 1636. WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS, WATER RECYCLING AND REUSE PROJECT.

    (a) Authorization.--The Secretary, in cooperation with the 
Lower Colorado River Authority, Texas, is authorized to 
participate in the design, planning, and construction of 
permanent facilities to reclaim and reuse water in Williamson 
County, Texas.
    (b) Cost Share.--The Federal share of the costs of the 
project described in subsection (a) shall not exceed 25 percent 
of the total cost.
    (c) Limitation.--The Secretary shall not provide funds for 
the operation and maintenance of the project described in 
subsection (a).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *