U.S Code last checked for updates: Jan 28, 2023
§ 3203.
Small water storage and groundwater storage projects
(a)
Establishment of a competitive grant program for small water storage and groundwater storage projects

The Secretary shall establish a competitive grant program, under which the non-Federal project sponsor of any project in a Reclamation State, including the State of Alaska or Hawaii, determined by the Secretary to be feasible under subsection (b)(2)(B) shall be eligible to apply for funding for the planning, design, and construction of the project.

(b)
Eligibility and selection
(1)
Submission to the Secretary
(A)
In general

A non-Federal project sponsor described in subsection (a) may submit to the Secretary a proposal for a project eligible to receive a grant under this section in the form of a completed feasibility study.

(B)
Eligible projects
A project shall be considered eligible for consideration for a grant under this section if the project—
(i)
has water storage capacity of not less than 2,000 acre-feet and not more than 30,000 acre-feet; and
(ii)
(I)
increases surface water or groundwater storage; or
(II)
conveys water, directly or indirectly, to or from surface water or groundwater storage.
(C)
Guidelines

Not later than 60 days after November 15, 2021, the Secretary shall issue guidelines for feasibility studies for small storage projects to provide sufficient information for the formulation of the studies.

(2)
Review by the Secretary
The Secretary shall review each feasibility study received under paragraph (1)(A) for the purpose of determining whether—
(A)
the feasibility study, and the process under which the study was developed, each comply with Federal laws (including regulations) applicable to feasibility studies of small storage projects;
(B)
the project is technically and financially feasible, in accordance with—
(i)
the guidelines developed under paragraph (1)(C); and
(ii)
the reclamation laws; and
(C)
the project provides a Federal benefit, as determined by the Secretary.
(3)
Submission to Congress
Not later than 180 days after the date of receipt of a feasibility study received under paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives a report that describes—
(A)
the results of the review of the study by the Secretary under paragraph (2), including a determination of whether the project is feasible and provides a Federal benefit;
(B)
any recommendations that the Secretary may have concerning the plan or design of the project; and
(C)
any conditions the Secretary may require for construction of the project.
(4)
Eligibility for funding
(A)
In general

The non-Federal project sponsor of any project determined by the Secretary to be feasible under paragraph (3)(A) shall be eligible to apply to the Secretary for a grant to cover the Federal share of the costs of planning, designing, and constructing the project pursuant to subsection (c).

(B)
Required determination

Prior to awarding grants to a small storage project, the Secretary shall determine whether there is sufficient non-Federal funding available to complete the project.

(5)
Priority
In awarding grants to projects under this section, the Secretary shall give priority to projects that meet 1 or more of the following criteria:
(A)
Projects that are likely to provide a more reliable water supply for States, Indian Tribes, and local governments, including subdivisions of those entities.
(B)
Projects that are likely to increase water management flexibility and reduce impacts on environmental resources from projects operated by Federal and State agencies.
(C)
Projects that are regional in nature.
(D)
Projects with multiple stakeholders.
(E)
Projects that provide multiple benefits, including water supply reliability, ecosystem benefits, groundwater management and enhancements, and water quality improvements.
(c)
Ceiling on Federal share
The Federal share of the costs of each of the individual projects selected under this section shall not exceed the lesser of—
(1)
25 percent of the total project cost; or
(2)
$30,000,000.
(d)
Environmental laws

In providing funding for a grant for a project under this section, the Secretary shall comply with all applicable environmental laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

(e)
Termination of authority

The authority to carry out this section terminates on the date that is 5 years after November 15, 2021.

(Pub. L. 117–58, div. D, title IX, § 40903, Nov. 15, 2021, 135 Stat. 1119.)
cite as: 43 USC 3203