| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 1761 (es) To direct the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Reclamation, to conserve and enhance the water supplies of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. [Engrossed in Senate] ...
S. 1761 (es) To direct the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Reclamation, to conserve and enhance the water supplies of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. [Engrossed in Senate] ...
S.1761 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 direct the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Reclamation, to conserve and enhance the water supplies of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. 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 ``Lower Rio Grande Valley Water Resources Conservation and Improvement Act of 2000''. SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) Commissioner.--The term ``Commissioner'' means the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. (2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Commissioner. (3) State.--The term ``State'' means the Texas Water Development Board and any other authorized entity of the State of Texas. (4) Program area.--The term ``program area'' means-- (A) the counties in the State of Texas in the Rio Grande Regional Water Planning Area known as Region ``M'' as designated by the Texas Water Development Board; and (B) the counties of Hudspeth and El Paso, Texas. SEC. 3. LOWER RIO GRANDE WATER CONSERVATION AND IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM. (a) In General.--The Secretary, acting pursuant to the Reclamation Act of 1902 (Act of June 17, 1902, 32 Stat. 388) and Acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, shall undertake a program in cooperation with the State, water users in the program area, and other non-Federal entities, to investigate and identify opportunities to improve the supply of water for the program area as provided in this Act. The program shall include the review of studies or planning reports (or both) prepared by any competent engineering entity for projects designed to conserve and transport raw water in the program area. As part of the program, the Secretary shall evaluate alternatives in the program area that could be used to improve water supplies, including the following: (1) Lining irrigation canals. (2) Increasing the use of pipelines, flow control structures, meters, and associated appurtenances of water supply facilities. (b) Program Development.--Within 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the State, shall develop and publish criteria to determine which projects would qualify and have the highest priority for financing under this Act. Such criteria shall address, at a minimum-- (1) how the project relates to the near- and long-term water demands and supplies in the study area, including how the project would affect the need for development of new or expanded water supplies; (2) the relative amount of water (acre feet) to be conserved pursuant to the project; (3) whether the project would provide operational efficiency improvements or achieve water, energy, or economic savings (or any combination of the foregoing) at a rate of acre feet of water or kilowatt energy saved per dollar expended on the construction of the project; and (4) if the project proponents have met the requirements specified in subsection (c). (c) Project Requirements.--A project sponsor seeking Federal funding under this program shall-- (1) provide a report, prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation or prepared by any competent engineering entity and reviewed by the Bureau of Reclamation, that includes, among other matters-- (A) the total estimated project cost; (B) an analysis showing how the project would reduce, postpone, or eliminate development of new or expanded water supplies; (C) a description of conservation measures to be taken pursuant to the project plans; (D) the near- and long-term water demands and supplies in the study area; and (E) engineering plans and designs that demonstrate that the project would provide operational efficiency improvements or achieve water, energy, or economic savings (or any combination of the foregoing) at a rate of acre feet of water or kilowatt energy saved per dollar expended on the construction of the project; (2) provide a project plan, including a general map showing the location of the proposed physical features, conceptual engineering drawings of structures, and general standards for design; and (3) sign a cost-sharing agreement with the Secretary that commits the non-Federal project sponsor to funding its proportionate share of the project's construction costs on an annual basis. (d) Financial Capability.--Before providing funding for a project to the non-Federal project sponsor, the Secretary shall determine that the non-Federal project sponsor is financially capable of funding the project's non-Federal share of the project's costs. (e) Review Period.--Within 1 year after the date a project is submitted to the Secretary for approval, the Secretary, subject to the availability of appropriations, shall determine whether the project meets the criteria established pursuant to this section. (f) Report Preparation; Reimbursement.--Project sponsors may choose to contract with the Secretary to prepare the reports required under this section. All costs associated with the preparation of the reports by the Secretary shall be 50 percent reimbursable by the non-Federal sponsor. (g) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section $2,000,000. SEC. 4. LOWER RIO GRANDE CONSTRUCTION AUTHORIZATION. (a) Project Implementation.--If the Secretary determines that any of the following projects meet the review criteria and project requirements, as set forth in section 3, the Secretary may conduct or participate in funding engineering work, infrastructure construction, and improvements for the purpose of conserving and transporting raw water through that project: (1) In the Hidalgo County, Texas Irrigation District #1, a pipeline project identified in the Melden & Hunt, Inc. engineering study dated July 6, 2000 as the Curry Main Pipeline Project. (2) In the Cameron County, Texas La Feria Irrigation District #3, a distribution system improvement project identified by the 1993 engineering study by Sigler, Winston, Greenwood and Associates, Inc. (3) In the Cameron County, Texas Irrigation District #2 canal rehabilitation and pumping plant replacement as identified as Job Number 48-05540-002 in a report by Turner Collie & Braden, Inc. dated August 12, 1998. (4) In the Harlingen Irrigation District Cameron #1 Irrigation District a project of meter installation and canal lining as identified in a proposal submitted to the Texas Water Development Board dated April 28, 2000. (b) Construction Cost Share.--The non-Federal share of the costs of any construction carried out under, or with assistance provided under, this section shall be 50 percent. Not more than 40 percent of the costs of such an activity may be paid by the State. The remainder of the non- Federal share may include in-kind contributions of goods and services, and funds previously spent on feasibility and engineering studies. (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section $10,000,000. Speaker of the House of Representatives. Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate.
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