The Secretary and the Administrator shall establish and lead a climate change and water intragovernmental panel—
(1)to review the current scientific understanding of each impact of global climate change on the quantity and quality of freshwater resources of the United States; and
(2)to develop any strategy that the panel determines to be necessary to improve observational capabilities, expand data acquisition, or take other actions—
(A)to increase the reliability and accuracy of modeling and prediction systems to benefit water managers at the Federal, State, and local levels; and
(B)to increase the understanding of the impacts of climate change on aquatic ecosystems.
The panel shall be comprised of—
(4)the Secretary of Agriculture (acting through the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment);
(6)the Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers;
(7)the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; and
(8)the Secretary of Energy.
(c) Review elements
In conducting the review and developing the strategy under subsection (a), the panel shall consult with State water resource agencies, the Advisory Committee, drinking water utilities, water research organizations, and relevant water user, environmental, and other nongovernmental organizations—
(1)to assess the extent to which the conduct of measures of streamflow, groundwater levels, soil moisture, evapotranspiration rates, evaporation rates, snowpack levels, precipitation amounts, flood risk, and glacier mass is necessary to improve the understanding of the Federal Government and the States with respect to each impact of global climate change on water resources;
(2)to identify data gaps in current water monitoring networks that must be addressed to improve the capability of the Federal Government and the States to measure, analyze, and predict changes to the quality and quantity of water resources, including flood risks, that are directly or indirectly affected by global climate change;
(3)to establish data management and communication protocols and standards to increase the quality and efficiency by which each Federal agency acquires and reports relevant data;
(4)to consider options for the establishment of a data portal to enhance access to water resource data—
(A)relating to each nationally significant freshwater watershed and aquifer located in the United States; and
(B)that is collected by each Federal agency and any other public or private entity for each nationally significant freshwater watershed and aquifer located in the United States;
(5)to facilitate the development of hydrologic and other models to integrate data that reflects groundwater and surface water interactions; and
(6)to apply the hydrologic and other models developed under paragraph (5) to water resource management problems identified by the panel, including the need to maintain or improve ecological resiliency at watershed and aquifer system scales.
Not later than 2 years after March 30, 2009, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that describes the review conducted, and the strategy developed, by the panel under subsection (a).
(e) Demonstration, research, and methodology development projects
(1) Authority of Secretary
The Secretary, in consultation with the panel and the Advisory Committee, may provide grants to, or enter into any contract, cooperative agreement, interagency agreement, or other transaction with, an appropriate entity to carry out any demonstration, research, or methodology development project that the Secretary determines to be necessary to assist in the implementation of the strategy developed by the panel under subsection (a)(2).
(A) Maximum amount of Federal share
The Federal share of the cost of any demonstration, research, or methodology development project that is the subject of any grant, contract, cooperative agreement, interagency agreement, or other transaction entered into between the Secretary and an appropriate entity under paragraph (1) shall not exceed $1,000,000.
An appropriate entity that receives funds from a grant, contract, cooperative agreement, interagency agreement, or other transaction entered into between the Secretary and the appropriate entity under paragraph (1) shall submit to the Secretary a report describing the results of the demonstration, research, or methodology development project conducted by the appropriate entity.
(f) Authorization of appropriations
(1) In general
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out subsections (a) through (d) $2,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2011, to remain available until expended.
(2) Demonstration, research, and methodology development projects
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out subsection (e) $10,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2013, to remain available until expended.
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