[House Report 110-504]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



110th Congress                                            Rept. 110-504
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

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           TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY WATER COMMISSION ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

               December 19, 2007.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

         Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 135]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 135) to establish the Twenty-First Century Water 
Commission to study and develop recommendations for a 
comprehensive water strategy to address future water needs, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 135 is to establish the Twenty-First 
Century Water Commission to study and develop recommendations 
for a comprehensive water strategy to address future water 
needs.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H.R. 135 would establish the ``Twenty-First Century Water 
Policy Commission.'' Under the bill, the Commission is charged 
with conducting a study of federal, state, local, and private 
water management programs in an effort to develop 
recommendations for a comprehensive water strategy that: (1) 
respects the primary role of states in water rights law; (2) 
identifies incentives to ensure an adequate and dependable 
domestic water supply for 50 years; (3) does not place 
increased mandates on state and local governments; (4) 
eliminates duplication and conflict among governmental 
agencies; (5) considers all available technologies for 
increasing water supply efficiently, while safeguarding the 
environment; (6) recommends means of capturing excess water for 
future droughts; (7) suggests financing options for public 
works projects; and (8) suggests conservation strategies.
    H.R. 135 would establish a commission of nine non-federal 
water experts to recommend policies to meet the above 
objectives in a national water strategy. The bill stipulates 
that the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress 
will appoint commissioners from a broad cross-section of 
regional and geographical U.S. perspectives. The Commission is 
directed to hold no less than ten public hearings around the 
nation and submit a final report no later than three years 
after its first meeting. The legislation sunsets the Commission 
within 30 days of the final report's submission.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 135 was introduced on January 4, 2007 by Rep. John 
Linder (R-GA). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Water and Power. The bill was also referred to the Committee 
on Transportation and Infrastructure.
    On October 10, 2007, Committee on Natural Resources met to 
consider H.R. 135. The Subcommittee on Water and Power was 
discharged from further consideration of the bill, and the bill 
was ordered favorably reported by unanimous consent and without 
amendment to the House of Representatives.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 states that the Act may be cited as the ``Twenty-
First Century Water Commission Act of 2007''.

Section 2. Findings

    Section 2 summarizes the need for the legislation.

Section 3. Establishment

    Section 3 establishes a commission to be known as the 
``Twenty-First Century Water Commission.''

Section 4. Duties

    Section 4 outlines the roles and responsibilities of the 
Commission, which includes using existing water assessments and 
current water management programs to create a comprehensive 
water strategy.

Section 5. Membership

    Section 5 provides a description of the composition and 
make-up of the Commission. The section describes the number and 
appointment of Commission members, qualifications, chairperson 
selection, terms of appointment, conditions for vacancies, 
monetary compensation and travel expenses, and other 
considerations.

Section 6. Meetings and quorum

    Section 6 provides the requirements of meetings, including 
notices. The first meeting of the Commission is to be held not 
later than 60 days after the appointment of all members.

Section 7. Director and staff

    Section 7 provides for the appointment of a Director and 
staff, if necessary, and the manner in which compensation will 
be paid for their services.

Section 8. Powers and proceedings of the Commission

    Section 8 provides that the Commission shall hold no fewer 
than ten hearings during its existence. The Commission may take 
testimony and receive such evidence as is necessary and 
appropriate to carry out the Act. At least one hearing shall be 
held in Washington, DC. Other hearings will be held in distinct 
areas of the United States and should seek to ensure testimony 
from individuals with a diversity of experiences. The 
Commission, if necessary, can utilize information and support 
from appropriate federal agencies.

Section 9. Reports

    Section 9 provides for the requirement of interim reports 
which contain a detailed summary of the Commission's progress, 
including meetings and hearings. The first interim report of 
the Commission will be completed not later than six months 
after the date of the first meeting, and subsequent interim 
reports will be completed every six months thereafter. No later 
than three years after the date of the first meeting of the 
Commission, a final report shall be prepared containing 
findings and conclusions of the Commission, and recommendations 
for implementing final report findings and conclusions. Interim 
reports and the final report will be transmitted to the 
President, and the appropriate authorizing committees in the 
House of Representatives and the Senate.

Section 10. Termination

    Section 10 provides the Commission shall terminate not 
later than 30 days following transmittal of the Commission's 
final report.

Section 11. Authorization of appropriations

    Section 11 authorizes the appropriation of $9,000,000 to 
carry out this Act.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                  FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    The functions of the proposed advisory committee authorized 
in the bill are not currently being nor could they be performed 
by one or more agencies, an advisory committee already in 
existence or by enlarging the mandate of an existing advisory 
committee.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to establish the Twenty-First Century 
Water Commission to study and develop recommendations for a 
comprehensive water strategy to address future water needs.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

H.R. 135--Twenty-First Century Water Commission Act of 2007

    Summary: H.R. 135 would establish the Twenty-First Century 
Water Commission. The Commission's responsibilities would 
include projecting the future of water supply and demand in the 
United States, studying the management of that supply, and 
preparing a comprehensive strategy for its management in the 
future.
    Assuming appropriation of the amount specified in the bill, 
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 135 would cost $9 million 
over the 2008-2012 period. Enacting H.R. 135 would not affect 
direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 135 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 135 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      By fiscal year, in millions of
                                                 dollars--
                                 ---------------------------------------
                                   2008    2009    2010    2011    2012
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              CHANGING IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level...       2       3       2       2       0
Estimated Outlays...............       1       2       3       3       0
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of Estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
135 will be enacted near the beginning of fiscal year 2008 and 
that the $9 million authorized to be appropriated by the bill 
will be provided over the next four years. Estimates of 
spending are based on historical spending patterns of similar 
activities.
    H.R. 135 would require the President and the Congress to 
appoint nine members of the commission before it could meet. 
CBO expects that the commission would hold its first meeting in 
the second half of fiscal year 2008, and that the commission 
would issue its final report in 2011.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 135 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Tyler Kruzich; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Melissa Merrell; 
Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    H.R. 135 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e) or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.