In order to mitigate losses and damages resulting from drought conditions, the Secretary may make available, by temporary contract, project and nonproject water, and may permit the use of facilities at Federal Reclamation projects for the storage or conveyance of project or nonproject water, for use both within and outside an authorized project service area.
Each temporary contract for the supply of water entered into pursuant to this section shall terminate no later than two years from the date of execution or upon a determination by the Secretary that water supply conditions no longer warrant that such contracts remain in effect, whichever occurs first. The costs associated with any such contract shall be repaid within the term of the contract.
Lands not subject to Reclamation law that receive temporary irrigation water supplies under temporary contracts under this section shall not become subject to the ownership and acreage limitations or pricing provisions of Federal Reclamation law because of the delivery of such temporary water supplies. Lands that are subject to the ownership and acreage limitations of Federal Reclamation law shall not be exempted from those limitations because of the delivery of such temporary water supplies.
The Secretary may make water from Federal Reclamation projects and nonproject water available on a nonreimbursable basis for the purposes of protecting or restoring fish and wildlife resources, including mitigation losses, that occur as a result of drought conditions or the operation of a Federal Reclamation project during drought conditions. The Secretary may store and convey project and nonproject water for fish and wildlife purposes, and may provide conveyance of any such water for both State and Federal wildlife habitat and for habitat held in private ownership. The Secretary may make available water for these purposes outside the authorized project service area. Use of the Federal storage and conveyance facilities for these purposes shall be on a nonreimbursable basis. Water made available by the Secretary in 1991 from the Central Valley Project, California, to the Grasslands Water District for the purpose of fish and wildlife shall be nonreimbursable.
The Secretary is authorized to store and convey nonproject water utilizing Federal Reclamation project facilities for use outside and inside the authorized project service area for municipal and industrial uses, fish and wildlife, and agricultural uses. Except in the case of water supplied for fish and wildlife, which shall be nonreimbursable, the Secretary shall charge the recipients of such water for such use of Federal Reclamation project facilities at a rate established pursuant to subsection (c).
The payment of capital costs attributable to the sale of project or nonproject water or the use of Federal Reclamation project facilities shall be covered into the Reclamation Fund and be placed to the credit of the project from which such water or use of such facilities is supplied.