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                                                       Calendar No. 941
110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     110-446

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



 
         THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY WATER COMMISSION ACT OF 2008

                                _______
                                

                August 22, 2008.--Ordered to be printed

     Filed under authority of the order of the Senate of August 22 
                   (legislative day, August 1), 2008

                                _______
                                

    Mrs. Boxer, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2728]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (S. 2728) to establish the Twenty-First Century 
Water Commission to study and develop recommendations for a 
comprehensive water strategy to address future water needs, 
reports favorably thereon with amendments, and recommends that 
the bill, as amended, do pass.

                      PURPOSES OF THE LEGISLATION

    S. 2728 would establish the Twenty-First Century Water 
Commission, a commission to help assess the country's future 
water supply and management needs. S. 2728 provides for the 
requirements of membership and appointment of the Twenty-First 
Century Water Commission (the Commission), and establishes its 
duties and responsibilities. The bill also requires hearings 
and reports on the Commission's findings and recommendations. 
The Commission's responsibilities would include projecting 
future water supply and demand in the United States, studying 
the management of that supply, studying measures to improve the 
availability, reliability, and quality of freshwater resources, 
and preparing a comprehensive strategy for its management in 
the future. The bill would require the Commission to 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 not later than three years after the date of the 
first meeting of the Commission.

                    GENERAL STATEMENT AND BACKGROUND

    As the population of the United States continues to grow, 
demands on its water supply, are expected to increase greatly, 
as are demands on the nation's water infrastructure, including 
Federal, state and local water conveyance, storage, and 
treatment. The federal government's U.S. Climate Change Science 
Program, concluded in a May 2008 report that the ``[e]ffects of 
climate on the nation's water storage capabilities and 
hydrologic functions will have significant implications for 
water management and planning as variability in natural 
processes increases.'' A Report by the U.S. Climate Change 
Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research: 
The Effects of Climate Change on Water Resources in the United 
States (U.S. Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and 
Assessment Product 4.3) (May 2008). Investments in water 
infrastructure, increased and improved water efficiency and 
conservation, improvements to water quality, and cooperation 
with Federal, state, and local agencies need to be assessed and 
considered.
    To help assess these needs and provide recommendations to 
lawmakers and policymakers, S. 2728, the Twenty-First Century 
Water Commission Act of 2008 would establish the Twenty-First 
Century Water Commission. The Commission, whose members are 
appointed by the Presidents and leaders of both chambers of 
Congress is charged with: (1) assessing and projecting future 
water supply and demand; (2) studying current water management 
programs of federal, interstate, state, and local agencies; and 
(3) consulting with representatives of such agencies and 
entities to develop recommendations for a comprehensive water 
strategy. The Commission is required to submit a final 
comprehensive report of its findings and recommendations to the 
President and the committees of jurisdiction of the Congress 
not later than three years after the date of the first meeting 
of the Commission.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 would provide that the Act may be cited as the 
``Twenty-First Century Water Commission Act of 2008''.

Section 2. Findings

    Section 2 finds that a thorough assessment of the nation's 
technological and economic advances that can be employed to 
increase water supplies nationwide is needed, and that 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, and will alleviate the impending stress on our water 
resources.

Section 3. Establishment

    Section 3 establishes a commission called the ``Twenty-
First Century Water Commission.''

Section 4. Duties

    Section 4 outlines the duties of the Commission, which 
include: (1) use existing water assessments and conducting new 
assessments to project future water supply and demand, (2) 
studying current water management programs at all levels of 
government and private entities directed at increasing water 
supplies and improving freshwater resources, (3) consulting 
with representatives of such agencies and entities to develop 
recommendations for a comprehensive water strategy, consistent 
with existing laws, treaties, decrees, and interstate compacts, 
which respect and consider several enumerated factors.

Section 5. Membership

    Section 5 describes the membership of the Commission, which 
will be composed of 9 members: 5 will be appointed by the 
President, 2 will be appointed by the Speaker of the House in 
consultation with the minority leader, and 2 will be appointed 
by the majority leader of the Senate in consultation with the 
minority leader. To qualify for membership on the Commission, 
individuals must be of recognized standing and distinction in 
water policy issues and must not hold any other position as an 
officer or employee of the United States. The members will 
represent a broad cross section of regional and geographical 
perspectives in the United States. The Chairperson of the 
Commission shall be designated by the President. Members 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.

Section 6. Meetings and quorum

    Section 6 requires that the Commission hold its first 
meeting not later than 60 days after the date on which all 
members have been appointed and that it hold additional 
meetings at the call of the Chairperson or a majority of its 
members. A majority of the members of the Commission 
constitutes a quorum.

Section 7. Director and staff

    Section 7 specifies that 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 
Infrastructure 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.

Section 8. Powers and proceedings of the commission

    Section 8 requires the Commission to hold no fewer than 10 
hearings during its life. 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, DC, 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.

Section 9. Reports

    Section 9 requires the Committee to report its progress 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. 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. All such reports will be submitted to the 
President; the Committee on Resources and the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives; the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 
and the Committee on the Environment and Public Works of the 
Senate.

Section 10. Termination

    Section 10 will terminate the Commission not later than 30 
days after the date on which the Commission transmits a final 
report under section 9.

Section 11. Authorization of appropriations

    Section 11 authorizes the appropriation of $9,000,000 to 
carry out this Act.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 2728 was introduced by Senator Isakson of Georgia. The 
bill was read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on 
Environment and Public Works. The Committee met on May 21, 
2008, when S. 2728 was ordered favorably reported as amended by 
voice vote.

                            ROLL CALL VOTES

    The Committee adopted, by unanimous consent, an amendment 
proposed by Senator Boxer that included the requirement that 
the Commission recommend the promotion of water efficiency and 
conservation in its comprehensive water strategy, and struck 
language regarding mandates on states and local governments and 
language related to duplication and conflict among federal 
programs.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT

    In compliance with section 11(b)(2) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that there 
are not expected to be significant costs to private entities 
under this legislation, and the Committee agrees with the 
Congressional Budget Office, which has concluded that the bill 
will not establish any private-sector mandates.

                          MANDATES ASSESSMENT

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the Committee finds, consistent with the 
determination of the Congressional Budget Office, that S. 2728 
would impose no Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on 
State, local or tribal governments. The Committee further 
agrees with the Congressional Budget Office that the bill does 
not impose private sector mandates.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

    In compliance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 2728--Twenty-First Century Water Commission Act of 2008

    Summary: S. 2728 would establish the Twenty-First Century 
Water Commission. The commission's responsibilities would 
include projecting future water supply and demand in the United 
States, studying the management of that supply, and preparing a 
comprehensive strategy for its management in the future. The 
bill would require the commission to complete that work within 
three years.
    Assuming appropriation of the amount specified in the 
legislation, CBO estimates that implementing S. 2728 would cost 
$9 million over the 2009-2013 period. Enacting the legislation 
would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    S. 2728 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
     Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 2728 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.........................        2        3        2        2        0            9
 Estimated outlays....................................        1        2        3        3        0            9
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
2728 will be enacted near the beginning of fiscal year 2009 and 
that the $9 million authorized to be appropriated by the bill 
will be provided over the next four years. Estimates of 
spending are based on historical spending patterns of similar 
activities.
    S. 2728 would require the President and the Congress to 
appoint 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 2009 and that the commission 
would issue its final report in 2012.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 2728 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Previous CBO estimates: On October 15, 2007, CBO 
transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 135, the Twenty-First 
Century Water Commission Act of 2007, as ordered reported by 
the House Committee on Natural Resources on October 10, 2007. 
The Natural Resources Committee's version of the bill would 
authorize the appropriation of $9 million for the proposed 
commission.
    On May 22, 2008, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
135 as ordered reported by the House Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure on May 15, 2008. The 
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's version of the 
bill would authorize the appropriation of $12 million for the 
proposed commission.
     Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Tyler Kruzich. Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Neil Hood. Impact on 
the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW

     Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires the committee to publish changes in existing 
law made by the bill as reported. Passage of this bill will 
make no changes to existing law.