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                                                       Calendar No. 393
113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     113-167

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



 
             AUTHORIZED RURAL WATER PROJECTS COMPLETION ACT

                                _______
                                

                  May 22, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Ms. Landrieu, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 715]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 715) to authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to use designated funding to pay for construction of 
authorized rural water projects, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Authorized Rural 
Water Projects Completion Act''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions.

      TITLE I--RECLAMATION RURAL WATER CONSTRUCTION AND SETTLEMENT 
                           IMPLEMENTATION FUND

Sec. 101. Establishment.
Sec. 102. Accounts.
Sec. 103. Deposits to Fund.
Sec. 104. Expenditures from Fund.
Sec. 105. Investments of amounts.
Sec. 106. Transfers of amounts.
Sec. 107. Transferability between accounts.
Sec. 108. Termination.

                     TITLE II--RURAL WATER PROJECTS

Sec. 201. Rural water projects.
Sec. 202. Restrictions.

   TITLE III--RECLAMATION INFRASTRUCTURE AND SETTLEMENT IMPLEMENTATION

Sec. 301. Reclamation infrastructure and settlement implementation.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Fund.--The term ``Fund'' means the Reclamation Rural 
        Water Construction and Settlement Implementation Fund 
        established by section 101.
          (2) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the meaning 
        given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination 
        and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
          (3) Rural water project.--The term ``rural water project'' 
        means a project that is designed to provide domestic, 
        industrial, municipal, or residential water to a small 
        community or group of small communities, including Indian 
        tribes and tribal organizations.
          (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior, acting through the Commissioner of Reclamation.

     TITLE I--RECLAMATION RURAL WATER CONSTRUCTION AND SETTLEMENT 
                          IMPLEMENTATION FUND

SEC. 101. ESTABLISHMENT.

  There is established in the Treasury of the United States a fund, to 
be known as the ``Reclamation Rural Water Construction and Settlement 
Implementation Fund'', consisting of--
          (1) such amounts as are deposited in the Fund under section 
        103; and
          (2) any interest earned on investment of amounts in the Fund 
        under section 105.

SEC. 102. ACCOUNTS.

  Within the Fund, there are established the following accounts:
          (1) Rural Water Project Account.
          (2) Indian Irrigation Account.
          (3) Reclamation Infrastructure and Settlement Implementation 
        Account.

SEC. 103. DEPOSITS TO FUND.

  (a) In General.--For each of fiscal years 2014 through 2035, the 
Secretary of the Treasury shall deposit in the Fund $150,000,000 of the 
revenues that would otherwise be deposited for the fiscal year in the 
reclamation fund established by the first section of the Act of June 
17, 1902 (32 Stat. 388, chapter 1093), of which--
          (1) $80,000,000 for each of the fiscal years shall be 
        deposited in the Rural Water Project Account established under 
        section 102(1);
          (2) $35,000,000 for each of the fiscal years shall be 
        deposited in the Indian Irrigation Account established under 
        section 102(2); and
          (3) $35,000,000 for each of the fiscal years shall be 
        deposited in the Reclamation Infrastructure and Settlement 
        Implementation Account established under section 102(3).
  (b) Availability of Amounts.--Amounts deposited in the Fund under 
subsection (a) shall be used, subject to appropriation, to carry out 
this Act.

SEC. 104. EXPENDITURES FROM FUND.

  (a) In General.--Subject to subsection (b), for each of fiscal years 
2014 through 2035, the Secretary may expend from the Fund, in 
accordance with this Act, not more than the sum of--
          (1) $150,000,000, to be allocated from the amounts in the 
        accounts specified in section 102; and
          (2) the amount of interest accrued in the Fund within each 
        account for the fiscal year in which the expenditures are made, 
        with the interest accrued within each account used only for 
        expenditures from that account.
  (b) Additional Expenditures.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary may expend more than 
        $150,000,000 for any fiscal year referred to in subsection (a) 
        if the additional amounts are available in the Fund as a result 
        of a failure of the Secretary to expend all of the amounts 
        available under subsection (a) in 1 or more prior fiscal years.
          (2) Retention in accounts.--Any additional amounts referred 
        to in paragraph (1) shall--
                  (A) be retained within the account to which the 
                amounts were designated;
                  (B) accrue interest for the designated account in 
                accordance with this title; and
                  (C) only be expended for the purposes for which 
                expenditures from the designated accounts are 
                authorized.

SEC. 105. INVESTMENTS OF AMOUNTS.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall invest such portion of the Fund 
as is not, in the judgment of the Secretary, required to meet current 
withdrawals.
  (b) Credits to Fund.--The interest on, and the proceeds from the sale 
or redemption of, any obligations held in the Fund shall be credited 
to, and form a part of, the Fund.

SEC. 106. TRANSFERS OF AMOUNTS.

  (a) In General.--The amounts required to be transferred to the Fund 
under this title shall be transferred at least monthly from the general 
fund of the Treasury to the Fund on the basis of estimates made by the 
Secretary of the Treasury.
  (b) Adjustments.--Proper adjustment shall be made in amounts 
subsequently transferred to the extent prior estimates are in excess of 
or less than the amounts required to be transferred.

SEC. 107. TRANSFERABILITY BETWEEN ACCOUNTS.

  (a) Transferability of Irrigation Funds.--No sooner than fiscal year 
2023, if the Secretary determines that there are no further deferred 
maintenance needs of eligible Indian irrigation projects, the Secretary 
may expend amounts and any interest accrued in the Indian Irrigation 
Account established by section 102(2) on any expenditure authorized 
under section 301 from the Reclamation Infrastructure and Settlement 
Implementation Account established by section 102(3).
  (b) Transferability of Water Settlement Funds.--No sooner than fiscal 
year 2023, if the Secretary determines that there are no further needs 
of Indian tribes under section 301, the Secretary may expend amounts 
and any interest accrued in the Reclamation Infrastructure and 
Settlement Implementation Account established by section 102(3) on any 
expenditure authorized under sections 401 through 406 from the Indian 
Irrigation Account established by section 102(2).

SEC. 108. TERMINATION.

  On September 30, 2035--
          (1) the Fund shall terminate; and
          (2) the unexpended and unobligated balance of the Fund shall 
        be transferred to the reclamation fund established by the first 
        section of the Act of June 17, 1902 (32 Stat. 388, chapter 
        1093).

                     TITLE II--RURAL WATER PROJECTS

SEC. 201. RURAL WATER PROJECTS.

  Subject to section 202, for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2035, 
the Secretary may use not less than $80,000,000 of the amounts 
available in the Rural Water Project Account established under section 
102(1) to complete construction of rural water projects--
          (1) authorized to be carried out by the Secretary on or 
        before the date of enactment of this Act; or
          (2) for which--
                  (A) pursuant to section 106(e) of the Rural Water 
                Supply Act of 2006 (43 U.S.C. 2405(e)), a feasibility 
                study has been submitted to the Secretary by September 
                30, 2012; and
                  (B) an Act of Congress after the date of enactment of 
                this Act has authorized the construction of the 
                project.

SEC. 202. RESTRICTIONS.

  (a) No Operation and Maintenance Costs.--The Secretary shall not use 
any amounts from the Fund to pay for operation and maintenance costs of 
an authorized rural water project.
  (b) Conditions.--The Secretary shall not expend any amounts from the 
Fund to carry out this title until the date on which the Secretary 
develops--
          (1) programmatic goals to carry out this title that--
                  (A) would enable the completion of construction of 
                the authorized rural water projects as expeditiously as 
                practicable; and
                  (B) reflect--
                          (i) the goals and priorities identified in 
                        the laws authorizing the authorized rural water 
                        projects; and
                          (ii) the goals of the Reclamation Rural Water 
                        Supply Act of 2006 (43 U.S.C. 2401 et seq.); 
                        and
          (2) funding prioritization criteria to serve as a methodology 
        for distributing funds under this title that take into 
        account--
                  (A) an evaluation of the urgent and compelling need 
                for potable water supplies in the affected rural and 
                tribal communities;
                  (B) the status of the current stages of completion of 
                the authorized rural water project;
                  (C) the financial needs of the affected rural and 
                tribal communities;
                  (D) the potential economic benefits of the 
                expenditures on job creation and general economic 
                development in the affected rural and tribal 
                communities;
                  (E) the ability of the authorized rural water project 
                to address regional and watershed level water supply 
                needs;
                  (F) the ability of the authorized rural water 
                project--
                          (i) to minimize water and energy consumption; 
                        and
                          (ii) to encourage the development of 
                        renewable energy resources, such as wind, 
                        solar, and hydropower elements;
                  (G) the need for the authorized rural water project 
                to address--
                          (i) the needs of Indian tribes and members of 
                        Indian tribes; and
                          (ii) other community needs or interests; and
                  (H) such other factors as the Secretary determines to 
                be appropriate to prioritize the use of available 
                funds.

  TITLE III--RECLAMATION INFRASTRUCTURE AND SETTLEMENT IMPLEMENTATION

SEC. 301. RECLAMATION INFRASTRUCTURE AND SETTLEMENT IMPLEMENTATION.

  Consistent with section 104, for each of fiscal years 2014 through 
2035, the Secretary shall use not less than $35,000,000, plus accrued 
interest, of the amounts authorized to be expended from the Reclamation 
Infrastructure and Settlement Implementation Account established under 
section 102(3)--
          (1) to provide compensation authorized under an Act of 
        Congress to extinguish or otherwise resolve all monetary claims 
        of an Indian tribe against the United States relating to the 
        continued and past use of the land of the Indian tribe by the 
        United States for the generation of hydropower; or
          (2) to complete construction, planning, and design of 
        projects and implement provisions authorized under one or more 
        Acts of Congress that--
                  (A) settle or otherwise resolve, in whole or in part, 
                litigation involving the United States and the rights 
                of one or more federally recognized Indian tribes to 
                access, use, or manage water resources; or
                  (B) implement agreements approved by Congress 
                pursuant to which one or more federally recognized 
                Indian tribes agree to some limitation on the exercise 
                of rights or claims to access, use, or manage water 
                resources.

   TITLE IV--REPAIR, REPLACEMENT, AND MAINTENANCE OF CERTAIN INDIAN 
                          IRRIGATION PROJECTS

SEC. 401. REPAIR, REPLACEMENT, AND MAINTENANCE OF CERTAIN INDIAN 
                    IRRIGATION PROJECTS.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall establish a program to address 
the deferred maintenance needs of Indian irrigation projects that--
          (1) create risks to public or employee safety or natural or 
        cultural resources; and
          (2) unduly impede the management and efficiency of the Indian 
        irrigation program.
  (b) Funding.--Consistent with section 104, of the amounts authorized 
to be expended from the Indian Irrigation Account established under 
section 102(2), the Secretary shall use or transfer to the Bureau of 
Indian Affairs not less than $35,000,000, plus accrued interest, for 
each of fiscal years 2014 through 2035 to carry out maintenance, 
repair, and replacement activities for 1 or more of the Indian 
irrigation projects described in section 402 (including any structures, 
facilities, equipment, or vehicles used in connection with the 
operation of those projects).

SEC. 402. ELIGIBLE PROJECTS.

  The projects eligible for funding under section 401(b) are the Indian 
irrigation projects in the western United States that, on the date of 
enactment of this Act--
          (1) are owned by the Federal Government, as listed in the 
        Federal inventory required by Executive Order 13327 (40 U.S.C. 
        121 note; relating to Federal real property asset management);
          (2) are managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (including 
        projects managed under contracts or compacts pursuant to the 
        Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 
        U.S.C. 450 et seq.); and
          (3) have deferred maintenance documented by the Bureau of 
        Indian Affairs.

SEC. 403. REQUIREMENTS AND CONDITIONS.

  Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act and 
as a precondition to amounts being expended from the Fund to carry out 
this title, the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the 
Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, the Commissioner of the Bureau 
of Reclamation, and representatives of affected Indian tribes, shall 
develop and submit to Congress--
          (1) programmatic goals to carry out this title that--
                  (A) would enable the completion of repairing, 
                replacing, improving, or performing maintenance on 
                projects as expeditiously as possible;
                  (B) facilitate or improve the ability of the Bureau 
                of Indian Affairs to carry out the mission of the 
                Bureau of Indian Affairs in operating a project; and
                  (C) ensure that the results of government-to-
                government consultation required under section 405 be 
                addressed; and
          (2) funding prioritization criteria to serve as a methodology 
        for distributing funds under this title, that take into 
        account--
                  (A) the extent to which deferred maintenance of 
                qualifying irrigation projects poses a threat to public 
                or employee safety or health;
                  (B) the extent to which deferred maintenance poses a 
                threat to natural or cultural resources;
                  (C) the extent to which deferred maintenance poses a 
                threat to the ability of the Bureau of Indian Affairs 
                to carry out the mission of the Bureau of Indian 
                Affairs in operating the project;
                  (D) the extent to which repairing, replacing, 
                improving, or performing maintenance on a facility or 
                structure will--
                          (i) improve public or employee safety, 
                        health, or accessibility;
                          (ii) assist in compliance with codes, 
                        standards, laws, or other requirements;
                          (iii) address unmet needs; and
                          (iv) assist in protecting natural or cultural 
                        resources;
                  (E) the methodology of the rehabilitation priority 
                index of the Secretary, as in effect on the date of 
                enactment of this Act;
                  (F) the potential economic benefits of the 
                expenditures on job creation and general economic 
                development in the affected tribal communities;
                  (G) the ability of the qualifying project to address 
                tribal, regional, and watershed level water supply 
                needs; and
                  (H) such other factors as the Secretary determines to 
                be appropriate to prioritize the use of available funds 
                that are, to the fullest extent practicable, consistent 
                with tribal and user recommendations received pursuant 
                to the consultation and input process under section 
                405.

SEC. 404. STUDY OF INDIAN IRRIGATION PROGRAM AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT.

  (a) Tribal Consultation and User Input.--Before beginning to conduct 
the study required under subsection (b), the Secretary of the Interior 
shall--
          (1) consult with the Indian tribes that have jurisdiction 
        over the land on which an irrigation project eligible to 
        receive funding under section 402 is located; and
          (2) solicit and consider the input, comments, and 
        recommendations of the landowners served by the irrigation 
        project.
  (b) Study.--Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Assistant 
Secretary for Indian Affairs, shall complete a study that evaluates 
options for improving programmatic and project management and 
performance of irrigation projects managed and operated in whole or in 
part by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  (c) Report.--On completion of the study under subsection (b), the 
Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Assistant Secretary for 
Indian Affairs, shall submit to the Committees on Energy and Natural 
Resources and Indian Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Natural 
Resources of the House of Representatives a report that--
          (1) describes the results of the study; and
          (2) includes recommendations for improving programmatic and 
        project management and performance in each qualifying project 
        area and for the program as a whole.
  (d) Funding.--Of the amounts authorized to be expended from the 
Indian Irrigation Account established under section 102(2), $1,000,000 
shall be made available during fiscal year 2014 to carry out this 
section, to remain available until expended.

SEC. 405. TRIBAL CONSULTATION AND USER INPUT.

  Before expending funds on an Indian irrigation project pursuant to 
section 401, the Secretary of the Interior shall--
          (1) consult with the Indian tribe that has jurisdiction over 
        the land on which an irrigation project eligible to receive 
        funding under section 402 is located; and
          (2) solicit and consider the input, comments, and 
        recommendations of the landowners served by the irrigation 
        project.

SEC. 406. ALLOCATION AMONG PROJECTS.

  (a) In General.--Subject to subsection (b), to the maximum extent 
practicable, the Secretary shall ensure that, for each of fiscal years 
2014 through 2035, each Indian irrigation project eligible for funding 
under section 402 that has critical maintenance needs receives part of 
the funding under section 401 to address critical maintenance needs.
  (b) Priority.--In allocating amounts under section 401(b), in 
addition to considering the funding priorities described in section 
403, the Secretary shall give priority to Indian irrigation projects 
for which funding has not been made available during the 15-year period 
ending on the day before the date of enactment of this Act under any 
other Act of Congress that expressly identifies the Indian irrigation 
project or the Indian reservation of the project to address the 
deferred maintenance, repair, or replacement needs of the Indian 
irrigation project.
  (c) Cap on Funding.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), in allocating 
        amounts under section 401(b), the Secretary shall allocate not 
        more than $15,000,000 to any individual Indian irrigation 
        project described in section 402 during any consecutive 3-year 
        period.
          (2) Exception.--Notwithstanding the cap described in 
        paragraph (1), if the full amount under section 401(b) cannot 
        be fully allocated to eligible irrigation projects because the 
        only remaining activities authorized in section 401(b) are for 
        irrigation projects that would exceed the cap described in 
        paragraph (1), the Secretary may allocate the remaining funds 
        to eligible irrigation projects in accordance with this title.
  (d) Basis of Funding.--Any amounts made available under this section 
shall be nonreimbursable.
  (e) Applicability of ISDEAA.--The Indian Self-Determination and 
Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.) shall apply to 
activities carried out under this section.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 715, as ordered reported, is to authorize 
the Secretary of the Interior to use designated funding to pay 
for construction of authorized rural water projects, 
implementation of Indian water settlements, and deferred 
maintenance of Indian irrigation projects.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    Safe and reliable drinking water supplies are not available 
to millions of Americans, particularly in rural America. Many 
rural areas do not have the capital or the bonding capacity to 
pay for outlays of new water infrastructure or to upgrade 
deteriorating infrastructure. A 1995 assessment conducted by 
the Department of Agriculture found over one million people in 
the United States had no water piped into their homes, and more 
than 2.4 million had critical drinking water needs. Tribal 
communities are particularly hard hit. For example, it is 
estimated that over 30 percent of the Navajo Nation residents 
do not have access to safe, piped drinking water. Lack of a 
secure water supply presents a hardship to residents and 
impedes economic development.
    In July 2012, the Bureau of Reclamation (``Bureau'' or 
``BOR'') released a report, ``Assessment of Reclamation's Rural 
Water Activities and Other Federal Programs that Provide 
Support on Potable Water Supplies to Rural Water Communities in 
the Western United States'' (``BOR Assessment''), which 
quantifies the range of unmet needs for rural water supply 
systems in terms of dollars. That report estimates that the 
unmet need for potable water supply in the 17 western States to 
be from $5 billion to $8 billion for non-Indian rural water 
supply projects and $1.2 billion for specific Indian water 
supply projects in the western States as of fiscal year 2009.
    According to the same BOR Assessment, in the past 2 years, 
the Bureau has received 68 applications for funding for 
appraisal and feasibility studies of rural water supply 
projects. Thus, it appears that the demand for funds to study 
and develop plans for proposed rural water supply projects may 
well outstrip the appropriated levels and authorized ceiling of 
$15 million annually.
    Congress enacted the ``Rural Water Supply Act of 2006,'' 
which required the Secretary of the Interior to establish a 
rural water supply program. By definition, under the Act, a 
``rural water supply project'' serves a community or group of 
communities, each of which has a population of less than 50,000 
inhabitants, and may include Indian tribes, dispersed 
homesites, and rural areas.
    Pursuant to the Rural Water Supply Act, the Secretary is to 
carry out a program in the 17 western Reclamation States to: 
(1) investigate and identify opportunities to ensure safe and 
adequate rural water supply projects for domestic, municipal, 
and industrial use; (2) plan the design and construction, 
through appraisal and feasibility studies, of rural water 
supply projects; and (3) oversee the construction, as 
appropriate, of rural water supply projects that are 
recommended by the Secretary and subsequently authorized by 
Congress. Under this program, the Secretary, acting through the 
Bureau, may undertake the construction of individual rural 
water supply projects only as expressly authorized by Congress.
    Between 1980 and 2007, Congress directed the Bureau to 
undertake 11 specific rural water supply projects. Four of 
these have been completed. However, there is no predictable 
funding for the remaining projects, because construction 
funding must be secured annually through the appropriations 
process. There is a significant backlog in construction funding 
for these 7 projects.
    The Bureau receives on average approximately $50 million 
per year in appropriations for construction of the authorized 
projects. The Bureau's Assessment report indicates that, 
assuming an unconstrained level of annual Federal funding of 
$162 million, as projected in the project engineering reports, 
and assuming non-Federal funding at the minimum required, all 
remaining projects could be completed by 2029 at a total 
Federal investment of about $3 billion. However, at the current 
level of funding of $50 million annually for construction, 
projects would be completed much later (perhaps as late as 
2063) at a cost of $4 billion.
    The Reclamation Fund was established by Congress in 1902, 
and was intended to be used as a funding source to construct 
water projects in the West. The fund today is derived from 
several sources, including a federal share of oil and gas 
revenues and other mineral receipts from federal lands. These 
sources, as well as repayments and revenues associated with 
federal water resources development and some sales, rentals, 
and leases (including natural resource leasing) of federal land 
in the western United States, generally make up the fund. Of 
these funds, natural resource royalties and hydropower revenues 
make up the majority of incoming receipts. The Congressional 
Research Service indicates that, over the last five years, an 
average of 91 percent of the incoming funding came from natural 
resource royalties (79%) and from hydropower (11%). However, 
the use of monies from the Reclamation Fund has been subject to 
appropriation, and therefore, large balances have remained in 
the Fund. The average annual surplus in the Reclamation Fund 
from fiscal year 2005 through fiscal year 2011 was $960 
million.
    While these monies were intended to be used for water 
project construction in the West, funds often have not been 
appropriated when needed. As a result, a backlog of authorized 
but uncompleted Federal water supply projects, including rural 
water supply projects remains. As an example, outstanding 
construction authorizations for rural water supply projects 
total over $2.6 billion.
    In Indian water rights settlements, Indian tribes, states, 
municipalities, and the United States enter into binding 
agreements whereby an affected tribe agrees to some limitation 
on the seniority of its water rights in exchange for water 
supply project funding. The United States--pursuant to its 
responsibility as trustee for the various Indian tribes--shares 
the costs of construction of these projects. Any agreement 
binding the United States as a party must be approved by 
Congress and most of the water settlements enacted from 1978 to 
present make funding for settlements contingent on the annual 
appropriations cycle. With funding for settlements uncertain, 
tribes and other parties have been increasingly concerned over 
whether projects authorized in water settlements legislation 
will be timely completed. Some tribes whose settlements were 
enacted nearly 20 years ago still must lobby for funding to 
keep projects on schedule every year. Such uncertainty makes it 
less and less likely tribes will continue to look toward 
settlements as a viable option which will lead to continued 
uncertainty over water rights in the arid west.
    Settling Indian water rights claims rather than litigating 
them is generally seen as being advantageous for all parties 
and has been formal federal policy since the George H.W. Bush 
Administration (55 Fed. Reg. 9223 (1990)), so it is in the 
national interest to ensure a conducive atmosphere to settling 
water rights claims.
    In February 2006, the Government Accountability Office 
issued a report in response to Congressional concerns over 16 
Indian irrigation projects in the Western United States. GAO, 
Indian Irrigation Projects: Numerous Issues Need to Be 
Addressed to Improve Project Management and Financial 
Sustainability (GAO-06-314). The irrigation projects, which 
were generally initiated in the late 1800s and early 1900s by 
the Department of the Interior, were aimed at assimilating 
tribal communities into mainstream society by giving them the 
ability to build agriculturally-based economies. Over time, 
non-Indians began buying or leasing the land served by the 
projects for agricultural purposes, and project stakeholders 
evolved from Indian water users and the tribes within the 
reservation to include non-Indian water users as well. Today, 
many of the water users are non-Indian.
    The GAO report found numerous problems associated with the 
management of these irrigation projects including deferred 
maintenance costs estimated at $850 million. The Bureau of 
Indian Affairs generally defines deferred maintenance as upkeep 
that is postponed until some future time. Deferred maintenance 
varies from project to project and ranges from cleaning weeds 
and trees which divert water from irrigation ditches, to 
repairing leaky or crumbling check gates designed to regulate 
water flow, to resloping eroded canal banks to optimize water 
flow.
    S. 715, as ordered reported, is needed to address these 
problems. The bill establishes a new fund in the Treasury, 
using $150 million per year that would otherwise be deposited 
in the Reclamation Fund, to fund rural water projects, Indian 
water rights settlements, and deferred maintenance of Indian 
irrigation projects.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 715 was introduced by Senator Baucus on April 11, 2013. 
Senators Tester, Harkin, Udall of New Mexico, Klobuchar, 
Franken, Johnson of South Dakota, Heinrich, Hoeven, and 
Heitkamp are original co-sponsors. The Subcommittee on Water 
and Power held a hearing on the bill on April 16, 2013 (S. Hrg. 
113-32). The Committee adopted an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute, as amended by a second degree amendment, and 
ordered the bill, as amended, favorably reported on November 
21, 2013.
    In the 112th Congress similar legislation, S. 3385, was 
introduced by Senator Baucus on July 16, 2012. The Senate 
Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on July 
31, 2012 (S. Hrg. 112-588).

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on November 21, 2013, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
715, if amended as described herein. Senators Landrieu, Risch, 
Flake, and Scott asked to be recorded as voting no.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS

    During its consideration of S. 715, the Committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended by a 
second degree amendment to the substitute. The amendment in the 
nature of a substitute, as amended by the second degree 
amendment, expands the scope of the bill and the scope of the 
Reclamation Rural Water Construction Fund established by the 
bill to fund not only rural water projects, but also the 
settlement of claims of Indian tribes arising from the use of 
Indian land for the generation of hydropower and the deferred 
maintenance needs of Indian irrigation projects. The amendment 
in the nature of a substitute separates the provisions relating 
to the establishment of the Reclamation Rural Water 
Construction Fund and provisions relating to funding rural 
water projects into two separate titles and adds a third title 
providing for the implementation of reclamation infrastructure 
and settlement agreements. The second degree amendment adds a 
fourth title addressing the deferred maintenance needs of 
Indian irrigation projects. The amendment in the nature of a 
substitute, as amended by the second degree amendment, renames 
the Rural Water Construction Fund, splits it into 3 separate 
accounts, increases the authorized amount from $80 million to 
$150 million, annually, and makes expenditures from the fund 
subject to appropriation.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 provides a short title and table of contents.
    Section 2 defines key terms.

     TITLE I--RECLAMATION RURAL WATER CONSTRUCTION AND SETTLEMENT 
                          IMPLEMENTATION FUND

    Section 101 establishes a fund in the United States 
Treasury to be known as the ``Reclamation Rural Water 
Construction and Settlement Implementation Fund.''
    Section 102 establishes three accounts within the fund 
established in Section 101. The three accounts are named: (1) 
the ``Rural Water Project Account''; (2) the ``Indian 
Irrigation Account''; and (3) the ``Reclamation Infrastructure 
and Settlement Implementation Account.''
    Section 103(a) directs the Secretary of the Treasury to 
deposit $150,000,000 of revenues that would otherwise be 
deposited in the Reclamation Fund for each of fiscal years 2014 
through 2035 into the fund established under Section 101. These 
funds would be divided amongst the three accounts in the 
following manner: $80,000,000 to the Rural Water Project 
Account; $35,000,000 to the Indian Irrigation Account; and 
$35,000,000 to the Reclamation Infrastructure and Settlement 
Implementation Account.
    Section 103(b) specifies that amounts deposited into the 
Fund under Section 103(a) shall be subject to appropriation.
    Section 104 discusses expenditures from the Fund--stating 
that the Secretary may expend up to the amounts allocated under 
Section 102 plus accrued interest. The Secretary may expend 
more than $150,000,000 in a given year if there are funds left 
over in the accounts from previous years. This section also 
makes clear that any unexpended funds must be retained in the 
accounts to which they are designated and expended for the 
purposes for which expenditures from the designated accounts 
are authorized.
    Section 105 directs the Secretary to invest such portions 
of the Fund that are not required for current withdrawals. This 
section also specifies that interest earned on the amounts in 
the Fund along with proceeds from the sale or redemption of any 
obligations held in the Fund shall be credited to, and form 
part of, the Fund.
    Section 106 requires amounts to be transferred to the Fund 
from the Reclamation Fund at least monthly and also discusses 
how adjustments shall be made.
    Section 107 permits funds within the Indian Irrigation 
Account established by section 102(2) and the Reclamation 
Infrastructure and Settlement Implementation Account 
established by section 102(3) to be transferable with regard to 
authorized uses if, during or after fiscal year 2023, the 
Secretary determines that funds are no longer needed in either 
the Indian Irrigation Account or the Reclamation Infrastructure 
and Settlement Implementation Account.
    Section 108 provides for termination of the Fund on 
September 30, 2035, and mandates any remaining unexpended or 
unobligated balances be transferred to the Reclamation Fund.

                     TITLE II--RURAL WATER PROJECTS

    Section 201 permits the Secretary to use not less than 
$80,000,000 of the amounts available in the Rural Water Project 
Account, annually, for fiscal years 2014 through 2035, to 
complete construction of rural water projects meeting certain 
criteria.
    Section 202 places certain restrictions on the Secretary's 
use of the amounts under section 201. The restrictions include 
that the Secretary shall not use the amounts for operation and 
maintenance costs, that before expending any amounts the 
Secretary shall develop programmatic goals for carrying out 
this title, and that the Secretary shall develop funding 
prioritization criteria to serve as a methodology for 
distributing funds under this title prior to expending any 
amounts.

  TITLE III--RECLAMATION INFRASTRUCTURE AND SETTLEMENT IMPLEMENTATION

    Section 301 directs the Secretary to use not less than 
$35,000,000, plus accrued interest, of the amounts authorized 
to be expended from the Reclamation Infrastructure and 
Settlement Implementation Account established under section 
102(3), annually, for fiscal years 2014 through 2035, and 
describes the purposes for which the amounts may be expended.

   TITLE IV--REPAIR, REPLACEMENT, AND MAINTENANCE OF CERTAIN INDIAN 
                          IRRIGATION PROJECTS

    Section 401 directs the Secretary to establish a program to 
address the deferred maintenance needs of Indian irrigation 
projects and to transfer to the Bureau of Indian Affairs not 
less than $35,000,000, plus accrued interest, annually, for 
each of fiscal years 2014 through 2035, to carry out 
maintenance, repair, and replacement activities for eligible 
projects.
    Section 402 lays out criteria for projects eligible for 
funding under section 401(b).
    Section 403 directs the Secretary, as a precondition of 
expending amounts to carry out this title and within 180 days 
from the enactment of this act, and in consultation with the 
Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, the Commissioner of the 
Bureau of Reclamation, and representatives of affected Indian 
tribes, to develop and submit to Congress programmatic goals to 
carry out this title and a funding prioritization criteria to 
serve as a methodology for distributing funds under this title. 
Section 403 lays out details of what those goals and 
prioritization criteria should contemplate.
    Section 404 directs the Secretary--acting through the 
Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs--to complete a study 
within 2 years from the enactment of this act, that evaluates 
options for improving programmatic and project management and 
performance of irrigation projects managed in whole or in part 
by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and report it to Congress. 
Section 404 also directs the Secretary to consult with Indian 
tribes having jurisdiction over the land on which an eligible 
project is located and with other landowners served by the 
project prior to beginning said study. Section 404 also 
allocates funding to enable completion of the report.
    Section 405 requires the Secretary, prior to expending 
funds pursuant to section 401, to consult with the Indian tribe 
that has jurisdiction over the land on which an eligible 
irrigation project is located and to consider the input of 
other affected landowners.
    Section 406(a) directs the Secretary to ensure, to the 
maximum extent practicable, that for each of fiscal years 2014 
through 2035, each Indian irrigation project eligible for 
funding under section 402, that has critical maintenance needs, 
receives part of the funding under section 401 to address those 
needs.
    Section 406(b) directs the Secretary to give priority to 
Indian irrigation projects for which funding has not been made 
available during the 15-year period ending the day before the 
date of enactment of this act.
    Section 406(c) caps funding for any individual project to 
$15,000,000 over any consecutive 3-year period unless there are 
no other projects needing funding.
    Sections 406(d) and 406(e) clarify that any amounts made 
available under this section shall be nonreimbursable and that 
the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act 
applies to activities carried out under this section, 
respectively.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

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

S. 715--Authorized Rural Water Projects Completion Act

    Summary: S. 715 would establish a new Reclamation Rural 
Water Construction and Settlement Implementation Fund and 
transfer $150 million from the existing Reclamation Fund into 
the proposed fund annually through 2035. Those annual deposits 
and interest credited to the unspent balances in the new fund 
would be authorized to be appropriated for constructing certain 
rural water projects, settling claims against the federal 
government regarding the use of tribal lands, and maintaining 
Indian irrigation projects.
    Based on information from the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) 
and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), CBO estimates that 
subject to appropriation of the authorized amounts, the 
legislation would cost $692 million over the 2015-2019 period 
and $2.6 billion after 2019. Pay-as-you-go procedures do not 
apply to this legislation because it would not affect direct 
spending or revenues.
    S. 715 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). 
Tribal governments and rural communities would benefit from 
funds appropriated under this bill.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 715 is shown in the following table. The 
costs of this legislation fall within budget functions 300 
(natural resources and environment) and 450 (community and 
regional development).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                                   ---------------------------------------------
                                                                     2015   2016   2017   2018   2019  2015-2019
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Title II--Rural Water Projects:
    Estimated Authorization Level.................................     80     81     83     83     83        410
    Estimated Outlays.............................................     48     69     83     83     83        366
Title III--Reclamation Infrastructure and Settlement
 Implementation:
    Estimated Authorization Level.................................     35     35     36     36     36        178
    Estimated Outlays.............................................     32     35     36     36     36        175
Title III--Indian Irrigation:
    Estimated Authorization Level.................................     35     35     36     36     37        180
    Estimated Outlays.............................................     18     27     35     36     37        152
    Total Costs:
        Estimated Authorization Level.............................    150    152    155    155    156        767
        Estimated Outlays.........................................     97    131    153    155    156        692
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding. Additional costs would continue after 2019, subject
  to appropriation, until around 2035. CBO estimates those costs would total about $2.6 billion.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
715 will be enacted by the end of 2014 and that the authorized 
amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year. Estimated 
outlays are based on information from the BOR and BIA, and on 
historical spending patterns for similar projects.
    Title II--Rural Water Projects: CBO estimates that 
implementing title II to construct rural water projects would 
cost $366 million over the 2015-2019 period and about $1.4 
billion thereafter, assuming appropriation of the authorized 
amounts.
    Titel II would authorized the appropriate of $80 million 
annually through 2035 plus interest credited to a portion of 
the proposed fund to construct certain water projects to 
provide rural and tribal communities with access to clean, safe 
and reliable drinking water. Based on information provided by 
the BOR, CBO estimates that seven projects would be eligible 
for funding using the criteria specified in S. 715. those seven 
projects are currently being constructed or are ready to be 
constructed.
    Title III--Reclamation Infrastructure and Settlement 
Implementation: CBO estimates that implementing title III would 
cost $175 million over the 2015-2019 period and $631 million 
thereafter, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts.
    Title III would authorize the appropriation of $35 million 
annually through 2035 plus interest credited to a portion of 
the proposed fund to satisfy certain settlement agreements 
between the federal government and federally recognized Indian 
tribes. Settlements eligible for funding under this title would 
include those that have been authorized by the Congress, that 
have some portion of the settlement amount subject to 
appropriation, and that meet certain other criteria. According 
to BIA, several settlement agreements previously authorized by 
the Congress would meet the bill's criteria; for example, the 
White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights quantification, the 
Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement, and the Aamodt 
Litigation Settlement. Future settlements could also qualify to 
receive amounts authorized by the bill.
    Title IV--Indian Irrigation: CBO estimates that 
implementing title IV would cost $152 million over the 2015-
2019 period and $634 million thereafter, assuming appropriation 
of the authorized amounts.
    Title IV would authorize the appropriation of $35 million 
annually through 2035 plus interest credited to a portion of 
the proposed fund to maintain Indian irrigation projects owned 
by the federal government and managed by the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs. According to BIA, the agency manages 14 Indian 
irrigation projects that have nearly $600 million in deferred 
maintenance costs. Under the bill, additional maintenance costs 
that accrue at those 14 projects prior to 2035 also would be 
eligible to be paid from amounts appropriated from the fund.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 715 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. Assuming appropriation of necessary amounts, 
tribal governments and rural communities would benefit from 
this bill.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Aurora Swanson; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Michael Kulas; Impact 
on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo; 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 S. 715.
    The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of 
imposing Government established standards or significant 
economic 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 S. 715.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 715, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The testimony provided by the Bureau of Reclamation at the 
April 16, 2013, Subcommittee on Water and Power hearing on S. 
715 follows:

Statement of Robert Quint, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. 
                       Department of the Interior

    Chairman Schatz and Members of the Subcommittee, I am Bob 
Quint, Senior Advisor at the Bureau of Reclamation 
(Reclamation). I am pleased to be here to provide the views of 
the Department of the Interior (Department) on S. 715, the 
``Authorized Rural Water Projects Completion Act''. My 
statement today will draw upon the testimony provided by 
Commissioner Mike Connor in July 2012 on S. 3385, prior 
legislation discussed in this Committee during the 112th 
Congress.
    Like the sponsors of this legislation, the Department 
supports the goals of encouraging vibrant rural economies and 
ensuring safe, reliable sources of drinking water for rural 
residents. Rural water projects help build strong, secure rural 
communities and are important to our non-federal sponsors, 
which is why the President's FY 2014 Budget includes $40 
million for rural water projects.
    As a threshold matter, the Obama Administration has 
supported Reclamation's rural water program over the last four 
years, allocating $231 million of funding, in the FY 2010-2013 
budgets, to construct, operate, and maintain authorized rural 
water projects in addition to $232 million provided for these 
projects in the Recovery Act. Still, the rural water program 
must compete with a number of other priorities within the 
Budget, including aging infrastructure, Indian water rights 
settlements, environmental compliance and restoration actions, 
and other priorities intended to address future water and 
energy related challenges. Notwithstanding the importance of 
rural water projects, current budget constraints have limited 
the ability to make Federal investments that match on-the-
ground capabilities.
    Despite such constraints Reclamation has made progress in 
promoting certainty, sustainability, and resiliency for those 
who use and rely on water resources in the West and in 
supporting the basic drinking water needs of rural communities, 
as directed by the Congress. S. 715 provides a constant level 
of mandatory funding to support the construction of authorized 
rural water projects to deliver water to smaller, isolated 
communities. However, the Department believes Federal 
investments in such projects must recognize the current fiscal 
constraints and the need to make tough choices in prioritizing 
those investments. The Administration supports the goals 
embodied by S. 715 of advancing the economic security of 
Americans living in rural areas, and constructing these 
important infrastructure projects will not only help provide 
the economic benefits of a clean, reliable, drinking water 
system that most Americans take for granted, but will also 
assist in creating jobs in the short-term through ongoing 
construction, but the Administration supports discretionary 
funding for these projects.
    Since the 1980s, Congress has authorized Reclamation to 
undertake the design and construction of specific projects 
intended to deliver potable water supplies to rural communities 
located in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, 
Minnesota and Iowa. These projects exist in communities that 
are experiencing urgent needs for water due to poor quality of 
the existing supply or the lack of a secure, reliable supply. 
For example, in rural Montana, some communities have, from 
time-to-time, been subject to ``boil water'' orders due to the 
unsafe conditions of the existing drinking water supplies. In 
Eastern New Mexico, the existing communities currently rely on 
the diminishing Ogallala Aquifer and the current drinking water 
systems are projected to be depleted within 40 years. 
Reclamation's Rural Water Program provides a resource to rural 
communities under those circumstances and the Congress has 
authorized federal assistance to meet those needs.
    The Rural Water Supply Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-451) 
authorized Reclamation to establish a program to work with 
rural communities, including tribes, in the 17 Western States 
to assess rural water supply needs and conduct appraisal and 
feasibility studies without individual acts of Congress. 
Pursuant to the Rural Water Supply Act, Reclamation created a 
rural water program to enable coordinated examination of the 
various options to address rural communities' water supply 
needs through a cost effective, priority-based process.
    In addition to authorizing appraisal investigations and 
feasibility studies, Section 104 of the Rural Water Supply Act 
required that the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation 
with the Secretary of Agriculture, the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency, the Director of the Indian 
Health Service, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 
and the Secretary of the Army, to develop a comprehensive 
assessment of the status of the existing, authorized rural 
water projects. Section 104 also directs Reclamation to 
describe its plans for completing the design and construction 
of the authorized rural water projects.
    In response to Section 104, Reclamation issued a draft 
assessment report titled ``Assessment of Reclamation's Rural 
Water Activities and Other Federal Programs that Provide 
Support on Potable Water Supplies to Rural Water Communities in 
the Western United States'' which is posted on Reclamation's 
website (www.usbr.gov/rural water/docs/Rural-Water-Assessment-
Report-and-Funding- Criteria.pdf). Comments on the draft report 
were submitted through September 10, 2012. In addition to 
providing a report of the status of the existing authorized 
rural water projects, the assessment report describes how 
Reclamation's Rural Water Supply Program will be carried out 
and coordinated with other Federal programs which support the 
development and management of water supplies in rural 
communities in the western states and to maximize efficiency of 
the various programs by leveraging Federal and non-Federal 
funding to meet the shared goals of the programs.
    As described in the assessment report, with the exception 
of Title III of P.L. 107-331 that authorized the Jicarilla 
rural water supply system, each of the Acts of Congress 
authorizing Reclamation's involvement in the rural water supply 
projects required that the cost ceilings included in the 
original authorizing legislation be indexed to adjust for 
inflation which is estimated to be 4% annually. The result of 
these indexing requirements is that the overall cost of the 
authorized rural water projects has risen and continues to rise 
during the time needed for construction, such that the total 
estimated funding that would be required to complete these 
projects is now $2.6 billion, which is substantially higher 
than the original authorization amounts, which totaled $2.0 
billion.
    Reclamation has recognized the need to make meaningful 
progress in constructing authorized rural water projects and 
has budgeted $40 million in FY2014 toward that effort. At the 
levels provided in the 2013 budget, and without additional non-
Federal funding, progress would be made towards project 
completion, but some of the currently authorized projects would 
be completed much later, perhaps not until well after 2063 
despite close to $4.0 billion being invested by that time. It 
is estimated that as of 2063, an outstanding balance of 
approximately $1.1 billion would remain to complete 
construction of currently authorized projects.
    Across the country, state, local, and Tribal governments 
are taking a greater leadership role in water resources 
investments, including financing projects the Federal 
government would have in the past. Constrained Federal budgets 
do not preclude the ability of non-Federal parties to move 
forward with important investments in water resources 
infrastructure and the Department stands ready to support that 
effort. Even with the additional resources made available 
through S. 715, we would expect that non-Federal entities will 
likely need to increase their share of funding to build these 
projects in the timeframes they have envisioned.
    S. 715 establishes a dedicated Reclamation Rural Water 
Construction Fund in the United States Treasury comprised of 
funds that would otherwise be deposited into the Reclamation 
Fund established by the first section of the Act of June 17, 
1902 (32 Stat. 388, chapter 1093). This funding source would 
enable earlier completion of projects. Section 3(b)(3) of S. 
3385 provides that the bill's cost would be offset so as to not 
increase the deficit. The Department supports such language. 
However, even if an equivalent and acceptable offset is 
identified, use of those funds must be weighed against other 
priorities across the Federal government, including deficit 
reduction.
    Section 3 of S. 715 provides that for each fiscal year from 
2014 through 2030, $80,000,000 per year will be deposited into 
the Fund in addition to interest earned on invested money that 
is available in the Fund but not utilized for the current 
withdrawal. Section 3(c) of S. 715 limits expenditures from 
fiscal year 2014 through 2035 from the Fund to not more than 
$80,000,000 in addition to interest accrued in that same fiscal 
year, with an allowance for the use of funds carried over from 
prior years.
    S. 715 also provides that if a feasibility study has been 
submitted to the Secretary by September 30, 2012, and those 
projects are subsequently authorized by Congress, they may be 
eligible to receive funding through the Reclamation Rural Water 
Construction Fund. S. 715 directs the Secretary of the Interior 
to develop programmatic goals enabling the expeditious 
completion of construction of the existing rural water projects 
and to establish prioritization criteria for the distribution 
of funds. Reclamation's draft assessment report would meet 
these requirements when complete. Reclamation's first goal is 
to advance the construction of rural water projects that meet 
the most urgent water supply needs in the shortest amount of 
time, given our current budget constraints. The second goal is 
to give priority to rural water projects that address Indian 
and tribal water supply needs.
    Within the context of the above goals, Reclamation 
recognizes that current and projected funding levels may not be 
sufficient to expeditiously complete the federal funding 
portion of every project and that it must prioritize the 
allocation of available funding. The draft assessment report 
outlines prioritization criteria to guide Reclamation's 
decision making to maximize the agency's ability to meet its 
programmatic goals, to maximize water deliveries to rural 
communities in as short a period as possible, and to reflect 
the diverse needs and circumstances facing each individual 
project. The six criteria identified by Reclamation for rural 
water construction prioritization are:
           Is there an urgent and compelling need for 
        potable water supplies?
           How close is the Project to being completed 
        and what is the commitment of the project sponsors to 
        making that happen?
           What is the financial need of the 
        communities and what is the relative economic effect of 
        the Project?
           Does the Project fulfill Reclamation's 
        authorized niche for taking a regional and watershed 
        approach to rural water projects?
           Does the project minimize water and energy 
        consumption and encourage the development of renewable 
        energy resources such as wind, solar, hydropower, etc., 
        to meet local needs?
           Does the project serve the needs of tribal 
        communities and tribal members?
    The analysis outlined in the draft assessment report 
underscores that in times of constrained federal budgets, non-
federal funding in excess of the minimum contributions 
originally contemplated will be required to expedite project 
completion and reduce the effects of indexing over the 
construction period.
    This concludes my written statement. I am pleased to answer 
questions at the appropriate time.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill S. 715 as ordered 
reported.