TITLE II--DROUGHT CONTINGENCY PLANNING
SEC. 201. IDENTIFICATION OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR WATER SUPPLY CONSERVATION, AUGMENTATION AND USE.
The Secretary is authorized to conduct studies to identify opportunities to conserve, augment, and make more efficient use of water supplies available to Federal Reclamation projects and Indian water resource developments in order to be prepared for and better respond to drought conditions. The Secretary is authorized to provide technical assistance to States and to local and tribal government entities to assist in the development, construction, and operation of water desalinization projects, including technical assistance for purposes of assessing the technical and economic feasibility of such projects.
SEC. 202. DROUGHT CONTINGENCY PLANS.
The Secretary, acting pursuant to the Federal Reclamation laws, utilizing the resources of the Department of the Interior, and in consultation with other appropriate Federal and State officials, Indian tribes, public, private, and local entities, is authorized to prepare or participate in the preparation of cooperative drought contingency plans (hereinafter in this title referred to as `contingency plans') for the prevention or mitigation of adverse effects of drought conditions.
SEC. 203. PLAN ELEMENTS.
(a) PLAN PROVISIONS- Elements of the contingency plans prepared pursuant to section 202 may include, but are not limited to, any or all of the following:
(2) Appropriate water conservation actions.
(3) Water transfers to serve users inside or outside authorized Federal Reclamation project service areas in order to mitigate the effects of drought.
(4) Use of Federal Reclamation project facilities to store and convey nonproject water for agricultural, municipal and industrial, fish and wildlife, or other uses both inside and outside an authorized Federal Reclamation project service area.
(5) Use of water from dead or inactive reservoir storage or increased use of ground water resources for temporary water supplies.
(6) Water supplies for fish and wildlife resources.
(7) Minor structural actions.
(b) FEDERAL RECLAMATION PROJECTS- Each contingency plan shall identify the following two types of plan elements related to Federal Reclamation projects:
(1) Those plan elements which pertain exclusively to the responsibilities and obligations of the Secretary pursuant to Federal Reclamation law and the responsibilities and obligations of the Secretary for a specific Federal Reclamation project.
(2) Those plan elements that pertain to projects, purposes, or activities not constructed, financed, or otherwise governed by the Federal Reclamation law.
(c) DROUGHT LEVELS- The Secretary is authorized to work with other Federal and State agencies to improve hydrologic data collection systems and water supply forecasting techniques to provide more accurate and timely warning of potential drought conditions and drought levels that would trigger the implementation of contingency plans.
(d) COMPLIANCE WITH LAW- The contingency plans and plan elements shall comply with all requirements of applicable Federal law, including the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321), section 715(a) of the Water Resource Development Act of 1986 (33 U.S.C. 2265(a), and the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and shall be in accordance with applicable State law.
(e) REVIEW- The contingency plans shall include provisions for periodic review to assure the adequacy of the contingency plan to respond to current conditions, and such plans may be modified accordingly.
SEC. 204. RECOMMENDATIONS.
(a) APPROVAL- The Secretary shall submit each plan prepared pursuant to section 202 to the Congress, together with the Secretary's recommendations, including recommendations for authorizing legislation, if needed.
(b) PACIFIC NORTHWEST REGION- A contingency plan under subsection (a) for the State of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or Montana, may be approved by the Secretary only at the request of the Governor of the affected State in coordination with the other States in the region and the Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration.
SEC. 205. RECLAMATION DROUGHT RESPONSE FUND.
The Secretary shall undertake a study of the need, if any, to establish a Reclamation Drought Response Fund to be available for defraying those expenses which the Secretary determines necessary to implement plans prepared under section 202 and to make loans for nonstructural and minor structural activities for the prevention or mitigation of the adverse effects of drought.
SEC. 206. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND TRANSFER OF PRECIPITATION MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY.
(a) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE- The Secretary is authorized to provide technical assistance for drought contingency planning in any of the States not identified in section 1 of the Reclamation Act (Act of June 17, 1902, 32 Stat. 388), and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and upon termination of the Trusteeship, the Republic of Palau, the United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
(b) TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER PROGRAM- The Secretary is authorized to conduct a Precipitation Management Technology Transfer Program to help alleviate problems caused by precipitation variability and droughts in the West, as part of a balanced long-term water resources development and management program. In consultation with State, tribal, and local water, hydropower, water quality and instream flow interests, areas shall be selected for conducting field studies cost-shared on a 50-50 basis to validate and quantify the potential for appropriate precipitation management technology to augment stream flows. Validated technologies shall be transferred to non-Federal interests for operational implementation.