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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 12, 2016.
San Luis Unit Drainage Resolution Act
This bill requires the Department of the Interior to implement the Agreement between the United States and Westlands Water District to settle litigation concerning the U.S. duty to provide drainage service, entered September 15, 2015 (Westlands Agreement) and the agreement among the United States, the San Luis Water District, the Panoche Water District, and the Pacheco Water District.
The bill amends the 1960 statute that authorized Interior to construct the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project (CVP), California, to: (1) repeal provisions that include distribution systems and drains as features of such unit, and (2) eliminate requirements for Interior to meet drainage requirements for such unit. Each contractor within the unit that receives water for irrigation shall be responsible for the management of drainage water within its boundaries. The Westlands Water District (the District) shall assume all legal responsibility for the management of drainage water within, and shall not discharge drain water outside of, its boundaries.
convert the District's existing long-term or interim renewal water service contract to a repayment contract, make allocation decisions in the CVP consistent with federal law and applicable California State Water Resources Control Board requirements, and enter into a contract with the Navy for the delivery of CVP water to the Lemoore Naval Air Station to meet irrigation needs associated with its air operations. The bill suspends the District's capital repayment obligation and payments under its water service contracts and the April 1, 1965, repayment contract with the United States until the execution of the repayment contract, after which the District shall: (1) receive a specified credit against future operation and maintenance costs payable to the United States, and (2) be relieved of capital repayment obligations under specified water service contracts. Upon discharge of such capital repayment obligation, the ownership and full cost pricing limitations in federal reclamation law shall not apply to lands in the District.
CVP construction costs or other capitalized costs allocated to the District after the date of the Westlands Agreement shall be repaid within five years after notification of the allocation of less than $5 million. If the amount allocated is $5 million or greater, such cost shall be repaid as provided by applicable reclamation law.
Upon the execution of the repayment contract, Interior shall transfer to the District title to:
the San Luis Canal System, excluding the main canal that is integrated with the California Aqueduct; the Mendota Pool diversion facilities operated by the District; the Pleasant Valley System; the drainage collection system; the Tranquillity Field Office; the Huron field office; and all real property interests held by the United States in lands associated with such facilities and equipment. For any year in which the allocation for south-of-Delta CVP long-term water service contractors or repayment contractors is greater than 75%, Interior shall calculate for the District a per acre foot Restoration Fund payment based on a projection that the District would take delivery of such allocation.