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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To the extent desirable to carry out subsections (f)(1) and (h), 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.
All cost associated with the desalting complex shall be nonreimbursable except as provided in subsections (f) and (h).