Year-End Omnibus Also Includes Western Water Package

December 30, 2020

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) released the following statement after securing a number of western water provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which President Trump signed into law on Sunday evening.

Murkowski worked with Ranking Member Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and the leadership of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the House Committee on Natural Resources to address a number of western water priorities, including provisions that:

  • Begin to tackle the massive aging infrastructure issues facing water users;
  • Ensure Bureau of Reclamation facilities can be utilized to improve groundwater storage and management;
  • Authorize crucial water projects; and
  • Extend several programs important to modernizing water systems and saving water.  

“It is critical that we invest in our water infrastructure and enact federal policies that provide water managers with the tools they need to deliver reliable water supply. The western water title in the omnibus accomplishes both of these goals,” Murkowski said. “This package will improve water security and drought resilience for farms and communities in many western states. After considerable process in this Congress, I’m glad these provisions are now signed into law.”

Division FF, Title XI of the omnibus features provisions from multiple bills considered by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, including:

  • S. 2044, the Water Supply Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Utilization Act, from former Senator Martha McSally (R-Ariz.);
  • S. 1570, the Aquifer Recharge Flexibility Act, from Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho);
  • S. 334, the Clean Water for Rural Communities Act, from Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.);
  • S. 860, the Jackson Gulch Rehabilitation Project Modification Act, from Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.);
  • The extension and expansion of the WaterSMART program, from bills introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.);
  • The reauthorization of the Cooperative Watershed Management Program from bills introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.); and
  • S. 4530, the Snow Water Supply Forecasting Program Authorization Act, from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif).

Murkowski is Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee.