H. R. 3189
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
To prohibit the conditioning of any permit, lease, or other use agreement on the transfer of any water right to the United States by the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture.
This Act may be cited as the
Water Rights Protection Act
Treatment of water rights
The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture—
shall not condition the issuance, renewal, amendment, or extension of any permit, approval, license, lease, allotment, easement, right-of-way, or other land use or occupancy agreement on the transfer of any water right (including joint and sole ownership) directly to the United States, or any impairment of title, in whole or in part, granted or otherwise recognized under State law, by Federal or State adjudication, decree, or other judgment, or pursuant to any interstate water compact; and
shall not require any water user (including any federally recognized Indian tribe) to apply for or acquire a water right in the name of the United States under State law as a condition of the issuance, renewal, amendment, or extension of any permit, approval, license, lease, allotment, easement, right-of-way, or other land use or occupancy agreement.
For purposes of this Act, the term
water right means any surface, groundwater, or storage use filed, permitted, certificated, confirmed, decreed, adjudicated, or otherwise recognized by a judicial proceeding or by the State in which the user acquires possession of the water or puts it to beneficial use. Such term shall include water rights for federally recognized Indian tribes.
Impact on existing authority
Nothing in this Act limits or expands any existing legally recognized authority of the Secretaries to issue, grant, or condition any permit, approval, license, lease, allotment, easement, right-of-way, or other land use or occupancy agreement on Federal lands subject to their respective jurisdictions.
Effect on reclamation contracts
Nothing in this Act shall in any way interfere with existing or future Bureau of Reclamation contracts entered into pursuant to Federal reclamation law (the Act of June 17, 1902 (32 Stat. 388, chapter 1093), and Acts supplemental to and amendatory of that Act).
Effect on Endangered Species Act
Nothing in this Act shall affect the implementation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 ( 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
Effect on Federal reserved water rights
Nothing in this Act limits or expands any existing reserved water rights of the Federal Government on lands administered by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture.
Effect on Federal Power Act
Effect on Indian water rights
Nothing in this Act limits or expands any existing reserved water right or treaty right of any federally recognized Indian tribe.
Passed the House of Representatives March 13, 2014.
Karen L. Haas,