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H.R. 1769 (115th): San Luis Unit Drainage Resolution Act


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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 Oct 16, 2017.


San Luis Unit Drainage Resolution Act

(Sec. 3) This bill approves, and requires the Department of the Interior to implement, the Agreement between the United States and Westlands Water District August 2015 (Westlands Agreement).

(Sec. 4) The bill amends the San Luis Act (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 or drains within the Westlands Water District, and (2) eliminate requirements for Interior to meet drainage requirements for Westlands.

(Sec. 6) Interior shall:

convert Westlands' existing long-term or interim renewal water service contract to a repayment contract, make allocation decisions in the CVP affecting Westlands consistent with federal and state law, and enter into a contract with the Navy for the delivery of CVP water to the Lemoore Naval Air Station. The Navy must certify that the lands within the station are free from the ownership and full cost pricing limitations of federal reclamation law. Such contract shall continue as long as the Navy pays all applicable charges consistent with applicable law.

The contract amount of CVP water available to the station shall be determined by the Navy through technical analysis in cooperation with the station.

In any year in which there may occur a Condition of Shortage in the amount of water available for delivery, the contracting officer shall allocate the available CVP water to the station in the same percentage as allocated to municipal and industrial water service contractors in the San Luis Unit.

(Sec. 7) The bill suspends Westlands' 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 a repayment contract under this bill, after which Westlands 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.

CVP construction costs or other capitalized costs allocated to the Westlands 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.

(Sec. 8) The bill requires Interior to transfer title to specified facilities to Westlands upon the execution of the repayment contracts under this bill.

(Sec. 11) For any year in which the allocation of water for south-of-Delta CVP long-term water irrigation service contractors or irrigation repayment contractors is greater than 75%, Interior shall calculate for Westlands a per acre foot Restoration Fund payment based on a projection that Westlands would take delivery of the full allocation made to such contractors.