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Source: US Congressional Budget Office

Section 2 of H.R. 5316 would authorize the appropriation of $200 million for the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to repair water conveyance facilities that meet specific criteria outlined in the bill. According to BOR, at least one project, the Friant-Kern Canal project within California’s Central Valley, would meet those criteria. The bureau has estimated the project would cost $500 million. The nonfederal sponsors would be responsible for any costs above the $200 million authorized in the bill.

Section 3 would authorize the appropriation of $200 million (and additional amounts to account for inflation, which CBO estimates would total $28 million) for BOR to restore and maintain fish populations in the San Joaquin River in California and would include the construction and modification of bypass channels, levees, and conveyance facilities to mitigate seepage.

For this estimate, CBO assumes that the bill will be enacted late in fiscal year 2020. The bill would require that the amounts authorized for repairing water conveyance facilities be appropriated by 2023 but otherwise does not specify the year in which any appropriation should be provided. CBO has estimated the necessary amounts for each year using information from BOR. The agency could incur some costs in 2020, but CBO expects that most of the costs would be incurred in 2021 and later. Assuming appropriation of the authorized and estimated amounts, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5316 would cost $403 million over the 2020-2025 period and $25 million after 2025. The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).