Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 3291 (ih) To provide for the settlement of the water rights claims of the Shivwits Band of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 3291 (ih) To provide for the settlement of the water rights claims of the Shivwits Band of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...


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        H.R.3291

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

           Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,
             the twenty-fourth day of January, two thousand


                                 An Act


 
To provide for the settlement of the water rights claims of the Shivwits 
    Band of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Shivwits Band of the Paiute Indian 
Tribe of Utah Water Rights Settlement Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
        (1) It is the official policy of the United States, in keeping 
    with its trust responsibility to Indian tribes, to promote Indian 
    self-determination and economic self-sufficiency, and to settle the 
    water rights claims of Indian tribes to avoid lengthy and costly 
    litigation.
        (2) Any meaningful policy of Indian self-determination and 
    economic self-sufficiency requires the development of viable Indian 
    reservation economies.
        (3) The quantification of water rights and the development of 
    water use facilities is essential to the development of viable 
    Indian reservation economies, particularly in the arid Western 
    States.
        (4) The Act of March 3, 1891, provided for the temporary 
    support of the Shebit (or Shivwits) tribe of Indians in Washington 
    County, Utah, and appropriated moneys for the purchase of 
    improvements on lands along the Santa Clara River for the use of 
    said Indians. Approximately 26,880 acres in the same area were set 
    aside as a reservation for the Shivwits Band by Executive order 
    dated April 21, 1916. Additional lands were added to the 
    reservation by Congress on May 28, 1937.
        (5) The waters of the Santa Clara River are fully appropriated 
    except during high flow periods. A water right was awarded to the 
    United States for the benefit of the Shivwits Band in the 1922 
    adjudication entitled St. George Santa Clara Field Co., et al. v. 
    Newcastle Reclamation Co., et al., for ``1.38 cubic feet of water 
    per second for the irrigation of 83.2 acres of land and for 
    culinary, domestic, and stock watering purposes'', but no provision 
    has been made for water resource development to benefit the 
    Shivwits Band. In general, the remainder of the Santa Clara River's 
    flow is either diverted on the reservation and delivered through a 
    canal devoted exclusively to non-Indian use that traverses the 
    reservation to a reservoir owned by the Ivins Irrigation Company; 
    dedicated to decreed and certificated rights of irrigation 
    companies downstream of the reservation; or impounded in the 
    Gunlock Reservoir upstream of the reservation. The Band's lack of 
    access to water has frustrated its efforts to achieve meaningful 
    self-determination and economic self-sufficiency.
        (6) On July 21, 1980, the State of Utah, pursuant to title 73, 
    chapter 4, Utah Code Ann., initiated a statutory adjudication of 
    water rights in the Fifth Judicial District Court in Washington 
    County, Utah, Civil No. 800507596, which encompasses all of the 
    rights to the use of water, both surface and underground, within 
    the drainage area of the Virgin River and its tributaries in Utah 
    (``Virgin River Adjudication''), including the Santa Clara River 
    Drainage (``Santa Clara System'').
        (7) The United States was joined as a party in the Virgin River 
    Adjudication pursuant to section 666 of title 43, United States 
    Code. On February 17, 1987, the United States filed a Statement of 
    Water User Claim asserting a water right based on State law and a 
    Federal reserved water rights claim for the benefit of the Shivwits 
    Band to water from the Santa Clara River System. This was the only 
    claim the United States filed for any Indian tribe or band in the 
    Virgin River Adjudication within the period allowed by title 73, 
    chapter 4, Utah Code Ann., which bars the filing of claims after 
    the time prescribed therein.
        (8) The Virgin River adjudication will take many years to 
    conclude, entail great expense, and prolong uncertainty as to the 
    availability of water supplies, and thus, the parties have sought 
    to settle their dispute over water and reduce the burdens of 
    litigation.
        (9) After lengthy negotiation, which included participation by 
    representatives of the United States Government for the benefit of 
    the Shivwits Band, the State of Utah, the Shivwits Band, the 
    Washington County Water Conservancy District, the City of St. 
    George, and others on the Santa Clara River System, the parties 
    have entered into agreements to resolve all water rights claims 
    between and among themselves and to quantify the water right 
    entitlement of the Shivwits Band, and to provide for the 
    construction of water projects to facilitate the settlement of 
    these claims.
        (10) Pursuant to the St. George Water Reuse Project Agreement, 
    the Santa Clara Project Agreement, and the Settlement Agreement, 
    the Shivwits Band will receive the right to a total of 4,000 acre-
    feet of water annually in settlement of its existing State law 
    claims and Federal reserved water right claims.
        (11) To advance the goals of Federal Indian policy and 
    consistent with the trust responsibility of the United States to 
    the Shivwits Band, it is appropriate that the United States 
    participate in the implementation of the St. George Water Reuse 
    Project Agreement, the Santa Clara Project Agreement, and the 
    Settlement Agreement in accordance with this Act.

SEC. 3. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--
        (1) to achieve a fair, equitable, and final settlement of all 
    claims to water rights in the Santa Clara River for the Shivwits 
    Band, and the United States for the benefit of the Shivwits Band;
        (2) to promote the self-determination and economic self-
    sufficiency of the Shivwits Band, in part by providing funds to the 
    Shivwits Band for its use in developing a viable reservation 
    economy;
        (3) to approve, ratify, and confirm the St. George Water Reuse 
    Project Agreement, the Santa Clara Project Agreement, and the 
    Settlement Agreement, and the Shivwits Water Right described 
    therein;
        (4) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to execute the 
    St. George Water Reuse Project Agreement, the Santa Clara Project 
    Agreement, and the Settlement Agreement, and to take such actions 
    as are necessary to implement these agreements in a manner 
    consistent with this Act; and
        (5) to authorize the appropriation of funds necessary for 
    implementation of the St. George Water Reuse Project Agreement, the 
    Santa Clara Project Agreement, and the Settlement Agreement.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
        (1) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
    the Interior.
        (2) Utah.--The term ``Utah'' means the State of Utah, by and 
    through its Department of Natural Resources.
        (3) Shivwits band.--The term ``Shivwits Band'' means the 
    Shivwits Band of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, a constituent 
    band of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, a federally recognized 
    Indian tribe organized under section 16 of the Indian 
    Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 987; 25 U.S.C. 476), 
    and the Act of April 3, 1980 (94 Stat. 317).
        (4) Paiute indian tribe of utah.--The term ``Paiute Indian 
    Tribe of Utah'' means the federally recognized Indian Tribe 
    organized under section 16 of the Indian Reorganization Act of June 
    18, 1934 (48 Stat. 987; 25 U.S.C. 476), and the Act of April 3, 
    1980 (94 Stat. 317), comprised of five bands of Southern Paiute 
    Indians (Shivwits, Indian Peaks, Cedar, Koosharem, and Kanosh 
    Bands).
        (5) District.--The term ``District'' means the Washington 
    County Water Conservancy District, a Utah water conservancy 
    district.
        (6) St. george.--The term ``St. George'' means St. George City, 
    a Utah municipal corporation.
        (7) Virgin river adjudication.--The term ``Virgin River 
    Adjudication'' means the statutory adjudication of water rights 
    initiated pursuant to title 73, chapter 4, Utah Code Ann. and 
    pending in the Fifth Judicial District Court in Washington County, 
    Utah, Civil No. 800507596.
        (8) St. george water reuse project agreement.--The term ``St. 
    George Water Reuse Project Agreement'' means the agreement among 
    the United States for the benefit of the Shivwits Band, Utah, the 
    Shivwits Band, and St. George City, together with all exhibits 
    thereto, as the same is approved and executed by the Secretary of 
    the Interior pursuant to section 8 of this Act.
        (9) Santa clara project agreement.--The term ``Santa Clara 
    Project Agreement'' means the agreement among the United States for 
    the benefit of the Shivwits Band, Utah, the Shivwits Band, the 
    Washington County Water Conservancy District, St. George City, the 
    New Santa Clara Field Canal Company, the St. George Clara Field 
    Canal Company, the Ivins Irrigation Company, the Southgate 
    Irrigation Company, Bloomington Irrigation Company, Ed Bowler, and 
    the Lower Gunlock Reservoir Company, together with all exhibits 
    thereto, as the same is approved and executed by the Secretary of 
    the Interior pursuant to section 8 of this Act.
        (10) Settlement agreement.--The term ``Settlement Agreement'' 
    means that agreement among the United States for the benefit of the 
    Shivwits Band, Utah, the Shivwits Band, the Washington County Water 
    Conservancy District, St. George City, the New Santa Clara Field 
    Canal Company, the St. George Clara Field Canal Company, the Ivins 
    Irrigation Company, the Southgate Irrigation Company, Bloomington 
    Irrigation Company, Ed Bowler, and the Lower Gunlock Reservoir 
    Company, together with all exhibits thereto, as the same is 
    approved and executed by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to 
    section 8 of this Act.
        (11) Shivwits water right.--The term ``Shivwits Water Right'' 
    means the water rights of the Shivwits Band set forth in the 
    Settlement Agreement and as settled, confirmed, and ratified by 
    section 7 of this Act.
        (12) Shivwits band trust fund.--The term ``Shivwits Band Trust 
    Fund'' means the Trust Fund authorized in section 11 of this Act to 
    further the purposes of the Settlement Agreement and this Act.
        (13) Virgin river resource management and recovery program.--
    The term ``Virgin River Resource Management and Recovery Program'' 
    means the proposed multiagency program, to be administered by the 
    United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, 
    National Park Service, Utah, and the District, whose primary 
    purpose is to prioritize and implement native fish recovery actions 
    that offset impacts due to future water development in the Virgin 
    River basin.

SEC. 5. ST. GEORGE WATER REUSE PROJECT.

    (a) St. George Water Reuse Project.--The St. George Water Reuse 
Project shall consist of water treatment facilities, a pipeline, and 
associated pumping and delivery facilities owned and operated by St. 
George, which is a component of, and shall divert water from, the Water 
Reclamation Facility located in St. George, Utah, and shall transport 
this water for delivery to and use by St. George and the Shivwits Band. 
St. George shall make 2,000 acre-feet of water available annually for 
use by the Shivwits Band in accordance with the St. George Water Reuse 
Project Agreement and this Act.
    (b) Project Construction Operation and Maintenance.--(1) St. George 
shall be responsible for the design, engineering, permitting, 
construction, operation, maintenance, repair, and replacement of the 
St. George Water Reuse Project, and the payment of its proportionate 
share of these project costs as provided for in the St. George Water 
Reuse Project Agreement.
    (2) The Shivwits Band and the United States for the benefit of the 
Shivwits Band shall make available, in accordance with the terms of the 
St. George Water Reuse Agreement and this Act, a total of $15,000,000 
to St. George for the proportionate share of the design, engineering, 
permitting, construction, operation, maintenance, repair, and 
replacement of the St. George Water Reuse Project associated with the 
2,000 acre-feet annually to be provided to the Shivwits Band.

SEC. 6. SANTA CLARA PROJECT.

    (a) Santa Clara Project.--The Santa Clara Project shall consist of 
a pressurized pipeline from the existing Gunlock Reservoir across the 
Shivwits Reservation to and including Ivins Reservoir, along with main 
lateral pipelines. The Santa Clara Project shall pool and deliver the 
water rights of the parties as set forth in the Santa Clara Project 
Agreement. The Santa Clara Project shall deliver to the Shivwits Band a 
total of 1,900 acre-feet annually in accordance with the Santa Clara 
Project Agreement and this Act.
    (b) Instream Flow.--The Santa Clara Project shall release instream 
flow water from the Gunlock Reservoir into the Santa Clara River for 
the benefit of the Virgin Spinedace, in accordance with the Santa Clara 
Project Agreement and this Act.
    (c) Project Funding.--The Utah Legislature and the United States 
Congress have each appropriated grants of $750,000 for the construction 
of the Santa Clara Project. The District shall provide a grant of 
$750,000 for the construction of the Santa Clara Project. The District 
shall provide any additional funding required for the construction of 
the Santa Clara Project.
    (d) Project Construction, Operation, and Maintenance.--The District 
shall be responsible for the permitting, design, engineering, 
construction, and the initial operation, maintenance, repair, and 
replacement of the Santa Clara Project. Operation, maintenance, repair, 
and replacement activities and costs of the Santa Clara Project shall 
be handled in accordance with the terms of the Santa Clara Project 
Agreement.

SEC. 7. SHIVWITS WATER RIGHT.

    (a) In General.--The Shivwits Band and its members shall have the 
right in perpetuity to divert, pump, impound, use, and reuse a total of 
4,000 acre-feet of water annually from the Virgin River and Santa Clara 
River systems, to be taken as follows:
        (1) 1,900 acre-feet annually from the Santa Clara River System, 
    with an 1890 priority date in accordance with the terms of the 
    Santa Clara Project Agreement.
        (2) 2,000 acre-feet of water annually from the St. George Water 
    Reuse Project as provided for in the St. George Water Reuse Project 
    Agreement. The Shivwits Band shall have first priority to the reuse 
    water provided from the St. George Water Reclamation Facility.
        (3) 100 acre-feet annually, with a 1916 priority date, from 
    groundwater on the Shivwits Reservation.
    (b) Water Rights Claims.--All water rights claims of the Shivwits 
Band, and the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah acting on behalf of the 
Shivwits Band, are hereby settled. The Shivwits Water Right is hereby 
ratified, confirmed, and shall be held in trust by the United States 
for the benefit of the Shivwits Band.
    (c) Settlement.--The Shivwits Band may use water from the springs 
and runoff located on the Shivwits Reservation. The amount used from 
these sources will be reported annually to the Utah State Engineer by 
the Shivwits Band and shall be counted against the annual 4,000 acre-
feet Shivwits Water Right.
    (d) Abandonment, Forfeiture, or Nonuse.--The Shivwits Water Right 
shall not be subject to loss by abandonment, forfeiture, or nonuse.
    (e) Use or Lease.--The Shivwits Band may use or lease the Shivwits 
Water Right for either or both of the following:
        (1) For any purpose permitted by tribal or Federal law anywhere 
    on the Shivwits Band Reservation. Once the water is delivered to 
    the Reservation, such use shall not be subject to State law, 
    regulation, or jurisdiction.
        (2) For any beneficial use off the Shivwits Reservation in 
    accordance with the St. George Water Reuse Agreement, the Santa 
    Clara Project Agreement, the Settlement Agreement, and all 

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