H. R. 902
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
To facilitate the use for irrigation and other purposes of water produced in connection with development of energy resources.
Short title, findings, and purpose
This Act may be cited as the
More Water and More Energy Act of 2007.
The Congress finds the following:
Development of energy resources, including oil, natural gas, coalbed methane, and geothermal resources, frequently results in bringing to the surface water extracted from underground sources.
Some of this produced water is used for irrigation or other purposes, but most of it is returned to the subsurface.
Reducing the amount of produced water returned to the subsurface, and increasing the amount that is made available for irrigation and other uses—
would augment water supplies;
could reduce the costs to energy developers for disposing of such water; and
in some instances could increase the efficiency of energy development activities.
It is in the national interest to remove or reduce obstacles to use of produced water for irrigation or other purposes in ways that will not adversely affect water quality or the environment.
The purpose of this Act is to facilitate the use of produced water for irrigation and other purposes without adversely affecting water quality or the environment, and to demonstrate ways to accomplish that result.
In this Act:
The term produced water means water from an underground source, that is brought to the surface as part of the process of exploration for or development of oil, natural gas, coalbed methane, or any other substance to be used as an energy source.
The term the Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.
Upper basin states
The term Upper Basin States means the States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
Lower basin states
The term Lower Basin States means the States of Arizona, California, and Nevada.
Identification of problems and solutions
The Secretary, acting through the Commissioner of Reclamation and the Director of the United States Geological Survey, shall conduct a study to identify—
the technical, economic, environmental, legal, and other obstacles to increasing the extent to which produced water can be used for irrigation and other purposes without adversely affecting water quality or the environment; and
the legislative, administrative, and other actions that could reduce or eliminate such obstacles.
Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall report to the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate regarding the results of the study required by this section.
Within existing authorities and subject to the availability of funds appropriated for the purpose, the Secretary shall provide financial assistance for the development of facilities to demonstrate the feasibility, effectiveness, and safety of processes to increase the extent to which produced water may be recovered and made suitable for use for irrigation, municipal or industrial uses, or other purposes without adversely affecting water quality or the environment.
Assistance under this section—
shall be provided for—
at least one project in one of the Upper Basin States other than New Mexico;
at least one project in either New Mexico or one of the Lower Basin States other than California;
at least one project in California; and
at least one project in Texas;
shall not exceed $1,000,000 for any project;
shall be used to pay not more than 50 percent of the total cost of a project;
shall not be used for operation or maintenance of any facility; and
may be in addition to assistance provided by the United States pursuant to other provisions of law.
Consultation, advice, and comments
In implementing this Act, including preparation of the report required by section 3 and the establishment of criteria to be used in connection with award of financial assistance pursuant to section 4, the Secretary shall—
consult with the Secretary of Energy, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and appropriate Governors and local officials;
review any relevant information developed in connection with research carried out by others, including research carried out pursuant to section 999 of Public Law 109–58, and to the extent the Secretary considers advisable include such information in the report required by section 3;
seek the advice of individuals with relevant professional or academic expertise and of companies or individuals with industrial experience, particularly experience related to production of oil, natural gas, or other energy resources, including geothermal resources; and
solicit comments and suggestions from the public.
Relation to other laws
Nothing in this Act shall be construed as superseding, modifying, abrogating, or limiting—
the effect of any State law or any interstate authority or compact with regard to any use of water or the regulation of water quantity or quality; or
the applicability or effect of any Federal law or regulation.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated—
$1,000,000 to implement section 3; and
$5,000,000 to implement section 4.
Passed the House of Representatives March 19, 2007.
Lorraine C. Miller,