43 U.S. Code § 1571 - Water quality improvement

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(a) Authority to proceed with program
The Secretary of the Interior, hereinafter referred to as the “Secretary”, is authorized and directed to proceed with a program of works of improvement for the enhancement and protection of the quality of water available in the Colorado River for use in the United States and the Republic of Mexico, and to enable the United States to comply with its obligations under the agreement with Mexico of August 30, 1973 (Minute No. 242 of the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico), concluded pursuant to the Treaty of February 3, 1944 (TS 994), in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(b) Desalting complexes and plants
(1) The Secretary is authorized to construct, operate, and maintain a desalting complex, including (1) a desalting plant to reduce the salinity of drain water from the Wellton-Mohawk division of the Gila project, Arizona (hereinafter referred to as the division), including a pretreatment plant for settling, softening, and filtration of the drain water to be desalted; (2) the necessary appurtenant works including the intake pumping plant system, product waterline, power transmission facilities, and permanent operating facilities; (3) the necessary extension in the United States and Mexico of the existing bypass drain to carry the reject stream from the desalting plant and other drainage waters to the Santa Clara Slough in Mexico, with the part in Mexico, subject to arrangements made pursuant to subsection (d) of this section; (4) replacement of the metal flume in the existing main outlet drain extension with a concrete siphon; (5) reduction of the quantity of irrigation return flows through acquisition of lands to reduce the size of the division, and irrigation efficiency improvements to minimize return flows; (6) acquire on behalf of the United States such lands or interest in lands in the Painted Rock Reservoir as may be necessary to operate the project in accordance with the obligations of Minute No. 242, and (7) all associated facilities including roads, railroad spur, and transmission lines.
(A) The desalting plant shall be designed to treat approximately one hundred and twenty-nine million gallons a day of drain water using advanced technology commercially available. The plant shall effect recovery initially of not less than 70 per centum of the drain water as product water, and shall effect reduction of not less than 90 per centum of the dissolved solids in the feed water. The Secretary shall use sources of electric power supply for the desalting complex that will not diminish the supply of power to preference customers from Federal power systems operated by the Secretary.
(B) The Secretary is authorized to use electrical power and energy available from the Navajo Generating Station which is in excess of the Central Arizona Project pumping requirements for the purpose of supplying power and energy requirements of the desalting plant and protective pumping well field constructed pursuant to this subchapter: Provided, That revenues credited to the Lower Colorado River Basin Development Fund shall not be diminished below those amounts which would have accrued had the power been marketed at the rate determined by the Secretary of Energy for the sale of power from the Navajo Generating Station to utilities and public entities, as a result of the use of power and energy for the desalting, protective pumping works, and other uses authorized by law, and that power and energy from the Navajo Generating Station shall be used first to meet the pumping requirements of the Central Arizona Project and after those needs have been met, for the desalting and protective pumping facilities constructed pursuant to this subchapter, and finally for other uses: Provided further, That prior to obtaining power from the Navajo Generating Station under the authority of this subsection, the Secretary shall complete an analysis of alternative sources of supply, including but not limited to the possibility of developing an agreement with the Republic of Mexico whereby the United States (or a non-Federal entity) would enter into contractual arrangements with Mexico for a sufficient supply of power to operate the desalting plant, the regulatory pumping fields and appurtenant facilities.
(C) Effective October 1, 1979, and to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in advance in appropriation Acts, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to purchase supplemental power and energy as required for the purposes of supplying the power and energy requirements of the desalting plant and protective pumping well field.
(c) Replacement water studies
Replacement of the reject stream from the desalting plant, Colorado River waters used for the mitigation of fish and wildlife habitat losses and of any Wellton-Mohawk drainage water bypassed to the Santa Clara Slough to accomplish essential operation except at such times when there exists surplus water of the Colorado River under the terms of the Mexican Water Treaty of 1944, is recognized as a national obligation as provided in section 1512 of this title. Studies to identify feasible measures to provide adequate replacement water shall be completed not later than June 30, 1980. Said studies shall be limited to potential sources within the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and those portions of Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming which are within the natural drainage basin of the Colorado River. Measures found necessary to replace the reject stream from the desalting plant, Colorado River waters used for the mitigation of fish and wildlife habitat losses and any Wellton-Mohawk drainage bypassed to the Santa Clara Slough to accomplish essential operations may be undertaken independently of the national obligation set forth in section 1512 of this title.
(d) Advancement of funds for that portion of bypass drain within Mexico
The Secretary is hereby authorized to advance funds to the United States section, International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), for construction, operation, and maintenance by Mexico pursuant to Minute No. 242 of that portion of the bypass drain within Mexico. Such funds shall be transferred to an appropriate Mexican agency, under arrangements to be concluded by the IBWC providing for the construction, operation, and maintenance of such facility by Mexico.
(e) Desalted water exchange
Any desalted water not needed for the purposes of this subchapter may be exchanged at prices and under terms and conditions satisfactory to the Secretary and the proceeds therefrom shall be deposited in the General Fund of the Treasury. The city of Yuma, Arizona, shall have first right of refusal to any such water.
(f) Return flow reduction
For the purpose of reducing the return flows from the division to one hundred and seventy-five thousand acre-feet or less, annually, the Secretary is authorized to:
(1) Accelerate the cooperative program of Irrigation Management Services with the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District, hereinafter referred to as the district, for the purpose of improving irrigation efficiency. The district shall bear its share of the cost of such program as determined by the Secretary.
(2) Acquire by purchase or through eminent domain or exchange, to the extent determined by him to be appropriate, lands or interests in lands to reduce the existing seventy-five thousand developed and undeveloped irrigable acres authorized by the Act of July 30, 1947 (61 Stat. 628), known as the Gila Reauthorization Act [43 U.S.C. 613 et seq.]. The initial reduction in irrigable acreage shall be limited to approximately ten thousand acres. If the Secretary determines that the irrigable acreage of the division must be reduced below sixty-five thousand acres of irrigable lands to carry out the purpose of this section, the Secretary is authorized, with the consent of the district, to acquire additional lands, as may be deemed by him to be appropriate.
(g) Disposal of acquired lands
The Secretary is authorized to dispose of the acquired lands and interests therein on terms and conditions satisfactory to him and meeting the objective of this chapter.
(h) Assistance to water users for installation of system improvements
The Secretary is authorized, either in conjunction with or in lieu of land acquisition, to assist water users in the division in installing system improvements, such as ditch lining, change of field layouts, automatic equipment, sprinkler systems and bubbler systems, as a means of increasing irrigation efficiencies: Provided, however, That all costs associated with the improvements authorized herein and allocated to the water users on the basis of benefits received, as determined by the Secretary, shall be reimbursed to the United States in amounts and on terms and conditions satisfactory to the Secretary.
(i) Contract amendment
The Secretary is authorized to amend the contract between the United States and the district dated March 4, 1952, as amended, to provide that—
(1) the portion of the existing repayment obligation owing to the United States allocable to irrigable acreage eliminated from the division for the purposes of this subchapter, as determined by the Secretary, shall be nonreimbursable; and
(2) if deemed appropriate by the Secretary, the district shall be given credit against its outstanding repayment obligation to offset any increase in operation and maintenance assessments per acre which may result from the district’s decreased operation and maintenance base, all as determined by the Secretary.
(j) Acquisition of land for storage
The Secretary is authorized to acquire through the Corps of Engineers fee title to, or other necessary interests in, additional lands above the Painted Rock Dam in Arizona that are required for the temporary storage capacity needed to permit operation of the dam and reservoir in times of serious flooding in accordance with the obligations of the United States under Minute No. 242. No funds shall be expended for acquisition of land or interests therein until it is finally determined by a Federal court of competent jurisdiction that the Corps of Engineers presently lacks legal authority to use said lands for this purpose. Nothing contained in this subchapter nor any action taken pursuant to it shall be deemed to be a recognition or admission of any obligation to the owners of such land on the part of the United States or a limitation or deficiency in the rights or powers of the United States with respect to such lands or the operation of the reservoir.
(k) Transfer of funds
To the extent desirable to carry out subsections (f)(1) and (h) of this section, the Secretary may transfer funds to the Secretary of Agriculture as may be required for technical assistance to farmers, conduct of research and demonstrations, and such related investigations as are required to achieve higher on-farm irrigation efficiencies.
(l) Nonreimbursable costs
All cost associated with the desalting complex shall be nonreimbursable except as provided in subsections (f) and (h) of this section.


(Pub. L. 93–320, title I, § 101,June 24, 1974, 88 Stat. 266; Pub. L. 96–336, §§ 1, 2,Sept. 4, 1980, 94 Stat. 1063.)
References in Text

Act of July 30, 1947 (61 Stat. 628), known as the Gila Reauthorization Act, referred to in subsec. (f)(2), is act July 30, 1947, ch. 382, 61 Stat. 628, which was classified generally to subchapter XXI (§ 613 et seq.) of chapter 12 of this title, and was omitted from the Code.

1980—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 96–336, § 1, designated existing provisions as subpar. (A), struck out requirement that all costs associated with the desalting plant be nonreimbursable, and added subpars. (B) and (C).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 96–336, § 2, included replacement water studies covering reject stream from the Colorado River waters used for the mitigation of fish and wildlife habitat losses.
Short Title

Pub. L. 93–320, § 1,June 24, 1974, 88 Stat. 266, provided: “That this Act [enacting this chapter and amending sections 620d and 1543 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act’.”

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43 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large


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