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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-714

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



 
        EASTERN NEW MEXICO RURAL WATER SYSTEM AUTHORIZATION ACT

                                _______
                                

 June 17, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 5710]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 5710) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior 
to provide financial assistance to the Eastern New Mexico Rural 
Water Authority for the planning, design, and construction of 
the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 5710 is to authorize the Secretary of 
the Interior to provide financial assistance to the Eastern New 
Mexico Rural Water Authority for the planning, design, and 
construction of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System, and 
for other purposes.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The proposed Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System Project 
would deliver potable water for municipal and industrial use to 
the cities of Clovis, Portales, Texico, Melrose, Elida, and 
Grady, and the Counties of Curry, Roosevelt and Quay. Water is 
also proposed to be delivered to Cannon Air Force Base in 
Eastern New Mexico.
    Currently, most of these communities in Eastern New Mexico 
rely on groundwater from the Entrada aquifer, part of the 
larger Ogallala Aquifer to the south, as the main source of 
water. Water levels in the vicinity of Clovis have declined in 
excess of 100 feet, with an estimated recharge of only \1/2\ 
inch per year. At current pumping rates, the aquifers near the 
cities of Clovis and Portales will not be able to sustain 
existing water demand from the aquifers after 40 years.
    In 1959, the New Mexico State Legislature enacted 
legislation instructing the State Engineer to create a 
reservoir on the Canadian River that could be used for future 
water demands in the region. The Interstate Stream Commission 
(ISC) completed the construction of the Ute Dam and Reservoir 
in 1962, and the State is allowed to store up to 200,000 acre 
feet of water for use in New Mexico.
    The Ute Dam and Reservoir stores approximately 200,000 acre 
feet of water. The Ute Water Commission (UWC) was first 
organized in 1987 for the purposes of contracting with the 
Interstate Stream Commission for purchase, acquisition, and 
distribution of water from the Ute Reservoir. In 1997, UWC and 
ISC entered into the agreement for sale and purchase of 24,000 
acre feet annually from the Ute Reservoir.
    The proposed Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System Project 
would use Ute Reservoir water to deliver 16,500 acre feet of 
water annually via 94.8 miles of lateral pipelines. The water 
would be centrally treated and delivered to the communities 
through a ``take or pay'' program, where participating member 
agencies use or pay for their reserved allocation of Ute water 
annually. The Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority was 
formed in November 2001 by members from the three participating 
counties and will be responsible for the operation, maintenance 
and replacement costs associated with the proposed Eastern New 
Mexico Rural Water System Project.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 5710 was introduced on April 3, 2008, by Rep. Tom 
Udall (D-NM). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural 
Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Water and Power. On May 8, 2008, the Subcommittee held a 
hearing on the bill.
    On May 22, 2008, the Subcommittee met to mark up the bill. 
H.R. 5710 was forwarded to the Full Committee with no 
amendments. On June 11, 2008, the Full Natural Resources 
Committee met to consider the bill. H.R. 5710 was ordered 
favorably reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous 
consent.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides that this Act may be cited as the 
``Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System Authorization Act.''

Section 2. Definitions

    Section 2 provides definitions for the terms used in the 
bill.

Section 3. Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System

    Section 3 specifies the federal cost share, the purposes 
for which the financial and technical assistance for the 
project can be used, and ownership of the project 
infrastructure. The Secretary of the Interior may provide 
technical and financial assistance to the Eastern New Mexico 
Rural Water Authority (Authority), limited to the Eastern New 
Mexico Rural Water System Project (System). The federal cost 
share under this Act is limited to 75 percent of the total 
System costs. The total system costs include funds incurred by 
the State and the Authority on or after October 1, 2003. No 
funds can be used until an operation, maintenance and 
replacement plan is developed by the Authority in consultation 
with the Secretary of the Interior. Environmental compliance 
must also be completed before funds can be used. The title of 
the infrastructure will be held by the Authority.
    The Committee expects the Bureau of Reclamation and other 
relevant planning authorities to obtain landowner permission 
before entering private property that could be affected by the 
pipeline route.

Section 4. Operation, maintenance and replacement costs

    Section 4 specifies the Authority's responsibility for all 
operation, maintenance and replacement costs associated with 
the System. The Authority must also develop an operation, 
maintenance and replacement plan.

Section 5. Administrative provisions

    Section 5 outlines the details and provisions of the 
cooperative agreement for financial and technical assistance. 
The Secretary shall also consult with the Authority in 
preparing any biological assessment under the Endangered 
Species Act.

Section 6. Authorization of appropriations

    Section 6 authorizes $327,000,000 to carry out this Act, 
adjusted to reflect changes in construction costs after January 
1, 2007. The funds made available to the Authority are non-
reimbursable and nonreturnable to the United States and any 
funds not used at the end of the fiscal year is retained for 
use on this project.

            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 Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                   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 authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to provide financial assistance to the Eastern New 
Mexico Rural Water Authority for the planning, design, and 
construction of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System, and 
for other purposes.
    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:

H.R. 5710--Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System Authorization Act

    Summary: H.R. 5710 would authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to provide financial and technical assistance to the 
Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority to help plan, design, 
and construct a water delivery project.
    Based on information from the Bureau of Reclamation and 
assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO estimates 
that implementing H.R. 5710 would cost $348 million over the 
2009-2013 period. Enacting the legislation would not affect 
direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 5710 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. 5710 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--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2009     2010     2011     2012     2013   2009-2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level...........................       80      100      100       80        0       360
Estimated Outlays.......................................       48       80       97       88       35       348
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted near the start of fiscal year 2009 
and that the necessary amounts will be appropriated for each 
year.
    H.R. 5710 would authorize the appropriation of $327 
million, plus additional amounts to reflect changes in 
construction costs after January 1, 2007. Under the bill, the 
Secretary would not be able to provide federal funds for 
operation and maintenance costs of the project. The maximum 
federal share of any activity related to the project would be 
limited to 75 percent. Any federal funds contributed to 
construct the project would be non-reimbursable.
    Based on information from the Bureau of Reclamation and 
assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO estimates 
that implementing the legislation would cost $348 million over 
the 2009-2013 period, and an additional $12 million thereafter.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 5710 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. Funds authorized in the bill to design, 
plan, and construct a system for delivering water would benefit 
the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority. Any costs the 
authority might incur would result from complying with 
conditions for receiving federal assistance.
    Previous estimate: On June 11, 2008, CBO transmitted a cost 
estimate for S. 2814, the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System 
Authorization Act as ordered reported by the Senate Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources on May 7, 2008. The bills are 
similar, and the estimated costs of implementing them are 
identical.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Tyler Kruzich; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Melissa Merrell; 
Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    H.R. 5710 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e) or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                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.