The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing Tuesday on funding for rural water projects.
The committee is considering the Authorized Rural Water Projects Completion Act, legislation sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) to help alleviate the backlog of water projects in rural communities.
The legislation would establish a new fund for rural water projects that would receive as much as $80 million per year in funding that would otherwise revert to an irrigation fund started in 1902 for some arid western states.
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor testifies on the first panel. Panel two includes: Bruce Sunchild, chairman, Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Box Elder, Mont.; Gayla Brumfield, chairwoman, Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority, Albuquerque, N.M.; Troy Larson, executive director, Lewis and Clark Regional Water System, Tea, S.D.; and Nathan Bracken, legal counsel, Western States Water Council, Murray, Utah.
Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) chairs the hearing.