43 CFR 426.6 - Leasing and full-cost pricing.
(a) Conditions that a lease must meet. Districts can make irrigation water available to leased land only if the lease meets the following requirements. Land that is leased under a lease instrument that does not meet the following requirements will be ineligible to receive irrigation water until the lease agreement is terminated or modified to satisfy these requirements.
(1) The lease is in writing;
(2) The lease includes the effective date and term of the lease, the length of which must be:
(i) 10 years or less, including any exercisable options; however, for perennial crops with an average life longer than 10 years, the term may be equal to the average life of the crop as determined by Reclamation, and
(ii) In no case may the term of a lease exceed 25 years, including any exercisable options;
(3) The lease includes a legal description, that is at least as detailed as what is required on the standard certification and reporting forms, of the land subject to the lease;
(4) Signatures of all parties to the lease are included;
(5) The lease includes the date(s) or conditions when lease payments are due and the amounts or the method of computing the payments due;
(6) The lease is available for Reclamation's inspection and Reclamation reviews and approves all leases for terms longer than 10 years; and
(7) If either the lessor or the lessee is subject to the discretionary provisions, the lease provides for agreed upon payments that reflect the reasonable value of the irrigation water to the productivity of the land; except
(8) Leases in effect as of the effective date of these regulations do not need to meet the criteria specified under paragraphs (a) (3) and (4) of this section, unless and until such leases are renewed.
(b) Nonfull-cost entitlements.
(1) The nonfull-cost entitlement for qualified recipients is 960 acres, or the Class 1 equivalent thereof.
(2) The nonfull-cost entitlement for limited recipients that received irrigation water on or before October 1, 1981, is 320 acres or the Class 1 equivalent thereof. The nonfull-cost entitlement for limited recipients that did not receive irrigation water on or prior to October 1, 1981, is zero.
(3) The nonfull-cost entitlement for prior law recipients is equal to the recipient's maximum ownership entitlement as set forth in § 426.5(d). However, for the purpose of computing the acreage subject to full cost, all owned and leased irrigation land westwide must be included in the computation.
(c) Application of the nonfull-cost and full-cost rates.
(1) A landholder may irrigate at the nonfull-cost rate directly and indirectly held acreage equal to his or her nonfull-cost entitlement.
(2) If a landholding exceeds the landholder's nonfull-cost entitlement, the landholder must pay the appropriate full-cost rate for irrigation water delivered to acreage that equals the amount of leased land that exceeds that entitlement.
(3) In the case of limited recipients, a landholder does not have to lease land to exceed a nonfull-cost entitlement, since the nonfull-cost entitlement is less than the ownership entitlement. Therefore, limited recipients must pay the appropriate full-cost rate for irrigation water delivered to any acreage that exceeds their nonfull-cost entitlement.
(d) Types of lands that count against the nonfull-cost entitlement.
(1) All directly and indirectly owned irrigation land and irrigation land directly or indirectly leased for any period of time during 1-water year counts towards a landholder's nonfull-cost entitlement, except:
(i) Involuntarily acquired land, as provided in §§ 426.12 and 426.14; and
(ii) Land that is leased for incidental grazing or similar purposes during periods when the land is not receiving irrigation water.
(2) Reclamation's process for determining if a nonfull-cost entitlement has been exceeded is as follows:
(i) All land counted toward a landholder's nonfull-cost entitlement will be counted on a cumulative basis during any 1-water year;
(ii) Once a landholder's nonfull-cost entitlement is met in a given water year, any additional eligible land may be irrigated only at the full-cost rate; and
(iii) Irrigation land will be counted towards nonfull-cost entitlements on a westwide basis, even for prior law recipients, regardless of the date of acquisition.
(e) Selection of nonfull-cost land.
(1) A landholder that has exceeded his or her nonfull-cost entitlement may select in each water year, from his or her directly held irrigation land, the land that can be irrigated at a nonfull-cost rate and the land that can be irrigated only at the full-cost rate. Selections for full-cost or nonfull-cost land may include:
(i) Leased land;
(ii) Nonexcess owned land;
(iii) Land under recordable contract, unless that land is already subject to application of the full-cost rate under an extended recordable contract; or
(iv) A combination of all three.
(2) Once a landholder has received irrigation water on a given land parcel during a water year, the selection of that parcel as full cost or nonfull-cost is binding until the landholder has completed receiving irrigation water westwide for that water year.
(f) Applicability of a full-cost selection to an owner or lessee. If a landowner or lessee should select land as subject to full-cost pricing, then that land can receive irrigation water only at the full-cost rate, regardless of eligibility of the other party to receive the irrigation water at the nonfull-cost rate.
(g) Subleased land. Land that is subleased (the lessee transfers possession of the land to a sublessee) will be attributed to the landholding of the sublessee and not to the lessee.
(h) Calculating full-cost charges. Reclamation will calculate a district's full-cost charge using accepted accounting procedures and under the following conditions.
(1) The full-cost charge does not recover interest retroactively before October 12, 1982. But, interest on the unpaid balance does accrue from October 12, 1982, where the unpaid balance equals the irrigation allocated construction costs for facilities in service plus cumulative federally funded O&M deficits, less payments.
(2) The full-cost charge will be determined:
(i) As of October 12, 1982, for contracts entered into before that date regardless of amendments to conform to the discretionary provisions; and
(ii) At the time of contract execution for new and renewed contracts entered into on or after October 12, 1982.
(3) For repayment contracts, the full-cost charge will fix equal annual payments over the amortization period. For water service contracts, the full-cost charge will fix equal payments per acre-foot of projected water deliveries over the amortization period.
(4) If there are additional construction expenditures, or if the cost allocated to irrigation changes, then a new full-cost charge will be determined.
(5) Reclamation will notify the respective districts of changes in the full-cost charge at the time the district is notified of other payments due the United States.
(6) In determining full-cost charges, the following factors will be considered:
(i) Amortization period. The amortization period for calculating the full-cost charge is the remaining balance of:
(A) For contracts entered into before October 12, 1982, the contract repayment period as of October 12, 1982;
(B) For contracts entered into on or after October 12, 1982, the contract repayment period;
(C) For water service contracts, the period from October 12, 1982, or the execution date of the contract, whichever is later, to the anticipated date of project repayment; and
(D) In cases where water services rates are designed to completely repay applicable Federal expenditures in a specific time period, that time period may be used as the amortization period for full-cost calculations related to these expenditures; but, in no case will the amortization period exceed the project payback period authorized by the Congress;
(ii) Construction costs. For determining full cost, construction costs properly allocable to irrigation are those Federal project costs for facilities in service that have been assigned to irrigation within the overall allocation of total project construction costs. Total project construction costs include all direct expenditures necessary to install or implement a project, such as:
(E) Water-rights acquisitions;
(F) Construction expenditures;
(G) Interest during construction; and
(H) When appropriate, transfer costs associated with services provided from other projects;
(iii) Facilities in service. Facilities in service are those facilities that are in operation and providing irrigation services;
(iv) Operation and maintenance (O&M) deficits funded. O&M deficits funded are the annual O&M costs including project-use pumping power allocated to irrigation that have been federally funded and that have not been paid by the district;
(v) Payments received. In calculating the payments that have been received, all receipts and credits applied to repay or reduce allocated irrigation construction costs in accordance with Federal reclamation law, policy, and applicable contract provisions will be considered. These may include:
(A) Direct repayment contract revenues;
(B) Net water service contract income;
(D) Ad valorem taxes; and
(E) Other miscellaneous revenues and credits excluding power and municipal and industrial (M&I) revenues;
(vi) Interest rates. Interest rates to be used in calculating full-cost charges will be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury as follows:
(A) For irrigation water delivered to qualified recipients, limited recipients receiving water on or before October 1, 1981, and extended recordable contract land owned by prior law recipients, the interest rate for expenditures made on or before October 12, 1982, will be the greater of 7.5 percent per annum or the weighted average yield of all interest-bearing marketable issues sold by the Treasury during the fiscal year when the expenditures were made by the United States. The interest rate for expenditures made after October 12, 1982, will be the arithmetic average of:
(1) The computed average interest rate payable by the Treasury upon its outstanding marketable public obligations that are neither due nor callable for redemption for 15 years from the date of issuance at the beginning of the fiscal year when the expenditures are made; and
(2) The weighted average yield on all interest-bearing marketable issues sold by the Treasury during the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year the expenditures are made;
(B) For irrigation water delivered to limited recipients not receiving irrigation water on or before October 1, 1981, and prior law recipients, except for land owned subject to extended recordable contract, the interest rate will be determined as of the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year the expenditures are made, except that the interest rate for expenditures made before October 12, 1982, will be determined as of October 12, 1982. The interest rate will be based on the arithmetic average of:
(1) The computed average interest rate payable by the Treasury upon its outstanding marketable public obligations that are neither due nor callable for redemption for 15 years from the date of issuance; and
(2) The weighted average yield on all interest-bearing marketable issues sold by the Treasury.
(C) Landholders who were prior law recipients and become subject to the discretionary provisions after April 12, 1987, are eligible for the full-cost interest rate specified in paragraph (h)(6)(vi)(A) of this section, unless they are limited recipients that did not receive irrigation water on or before October 1, 1981, in that case they remain subject to the full-cost interest rate specified in paragraph (h)(6)(vi)(B) of this section.
(i) Direct and proportional charges for full-cost water. In situations where water delivery charges are contractually or customarily levied on a per-acre basis, full-cost assessments will be made on a per-acre basis. In situations where water delivery charges are contractually or customarily levied on a per acre-foot basis, one of the following methods must be used to make full-cost assessments:
(1) Assessments will be based on the actual amounts of water used in situations where measuring devices are in use, to the satisfaction of Reclamation, to reasonably determine the amounts of irrigation water being delivered to full-cost and nonfull-cost land; or
(2) In situations where, as determined by Reclamation, measuring devices are not a reliable method for determining the amounts of water being delivered to full-cost and nonfull-cost land, then water charges must be based on the assumption that equal amounts of water per acre are being delivered to both types of land during periods when both types of land are actually being irrigated.
(j) Disposition of revenues obtained through full-cost water pricing -
(1) Legal deliveries. If irrigation water has been delivered in compliance with Federal reclamation law and these regulations, then:
(i) That portion of the full-cost rate that would have been collected if the land had not been subject to full cost will be credited to the annual payments due under the district's contractual obligation;
(ii) Any O&M revenues collected over and above those required under the district's contract will be credited to the project O&M account; and
(iii) The remaining full-cost revenues will be credited to the Reclamation fund unless otherwise provided by law, with any capital component of the full-cost rate credited to project repayment, if applicable.
(2) Illegal deliveries. Revenues resulting from the assessment of compensation charges for illegal deliveries of irrigation water will be deposited into the Reclamation fund in their entirety, and will not be credited toward any contractual obligation, or O&M or repayment account of the district or project. For purposes of these regulations only, this does not include revenues from any charges that may be assessed by the district to cover district operation, maintenance, and administrative expenses.