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H.R. 579: Water Rights Protection Act of 2019


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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 15, 2019.


Water Rights Protection Act of 2019

This bill prohibits the Departments of the Interior or Agriculture from

conditioning 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 to the United States or on any impairment of title or interest granted or otherwise recognized under state law by federal or state action; or requiring any water user (including a 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 such a permit. In developing any rule or similar federal action relating to the issuance, renewal, amendment, or extension of any permit, such departments (1) shall recognize the longstanding water use authority of the states and coordinate with the states to ensure that any federal action is consistent with applicable state water law, and (2) shall not adversely affect the authority of a state in permitting the beneficial use of water or adjudicating water rights.