[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 116 (Friday, June 15, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Page 36001]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-14715]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Reclamation


Draft Report Assessing Rural Water Activities and Related 
Programs

AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: The draft Rural Water Assessment Report reviews the status of 
the Bureau of Reclamation's rural potable water projects and its plan 
for completing projects authorized before enactment of the Rural Water 
Supply Act and including a description of the proposed prioritization 
criteria as an appendix. It also describes Federal Programs supporting 
development and management of water supplies in rural communities in 
the 17 western states and describes Reclamation's plans to coordinate 
the Rural Water Supply Program with similar programs managed by other 
agencies.

DATES: Submit written comments by August 14, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments to James Hess, Bureau of 
Reclamation, 1849 C Street NW., MC: 96-42000, Washington, DC 20240; or 
by email to jhess@usbr.gov. The draft report is available for public 
review at www.usbr.gov/ruralwater.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Hess at (202) 513-0543 about the 
report or Christopher Perry at (303) 445-2887 about the prioritization 
criteria.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the Bureau of Reclamation, are seeking 
public comment on a draft Rural Water Assessment Report prepared as 
required by the Rural Water Supply Act of 2006. This section provides 
background on the reasons for the report and describes its contents.
    For over a century, Reclamation has designed and constructed some 
of the largest and most important water supply projects in the Western 
United States including Hoover Dam, Grand Coulee Dam, and the Central 
Valley Project. Because of Reclamation's expertise in water resources 
management, rural communities have sought our advice and assistance in 
addressing their need for potable water supplies. However, since 
Reclamation did not have legal authority to provide this assistance, 
many rural communities developed potable water supply projects without 
the benefit of our expertise and went directly to Congress to get their 
projects authorized for Reclamation's involvement--often after the 
project plan was developed. As a result, since 1980, Congress has 
authorized Reclamation to design and build projects to deliver potable 
water supplies to specific rural communities located primarily in North 
Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and New Mexico. In addition, Congress 
specifically authorized Reclamation's involvement in the Lewis and 
Clark Rural Water Supply Project located in the Reclamation State of 
South Dakota, but also in the non-Reclamation States of Iowa and 
Minnesota.
    To get Reclamation involved earlier in the process, Congress passed 
the Reclamation Rural Water Supply Act in 2006 which authorized the 
Secretary of the Interior to establish and carry out a rural water 
supply program in the 17 western states.
    The Act also requires the Secretary of the Interior to develop an 
assessment of rural potable water supply projects and programs in the 
Western United States. As part of that requirement, the Act requires 
the Secretary of the Interior to develop this assessment in 
consultation with the Secretaries of Agriculture, Housing and Urban 
Development, and the Army; the Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency; and the Director of the Indian Health Service. The 
assessment must include the following:
    (1) The status of all rural water supply projects under the 
jurisdiction of the Secretary that are authorized for design and 
construction, but not completed;
    (2) The current plan for the completion of the authorized rural 
water projects identified above;
    (3) The demand for new rural water supply projects;
    (4) The rural water programs within other agencies;
    (5) The extent of the demand that can be met by the Reclamation 
Rural Water Supply Program; and
    (6) How the Program will complement and coordinate with other 
Federal rural water supply programs to minimize overlap and leverage 
and maximize the benefits achieved with the resources of each.

Public Disclosure

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, please be aware 
that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

Authority

    The Reclamation Rural Water Supply Act of December 22, 2006 (Pub. 
L. 109-451, Title I, 120 Stat. 3346, 43 U.S.C. 2401, et seq.).

David Murillo,
Deputy Commissioner, Operations.
[FR Doc. 2012-14715 Filed 6-14-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MN-P