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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress
This report defines drought and discusses its background and cause in the United States. It looks in detail at the 2007-2009 California drought as well as drought in the American West in general. Lastly, it discusses the future of U.S. drought and how congressional policy can affect drought. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94164/
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Expenditures
In 1986, the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) was enacted to fund U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE or the Corps) activities related to the routine operation and maintenance (O&M) of harbors, namely the dredging of harbor channels to their authorized depths and widths. Economic and equity issues related to HMT expenditures and collections are the main focus of this report. Before analyzing these issues, the report reviews the legislative history of the tax and legal challenges to it, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of alternative funding mechanisms, and describes the commercial context of current dredging activity. The last section identifies legislation related to harbor maintenance funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31466/
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
The possibility of damage to or destruction of the nation's water supply and water quality infrastructure by terrorist attack has gained substantial attention since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Policymakers are considering a number of initiatives, including enhanced physical security, better communication and coordination, and research. A key issue is how such security measures will be funded. Committees in the 109th Congress have approved legislation to support vulnerability assessments in federal and non-federal wastewater treatment plants and utility systems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10426/
Upper Mississippi River System: Proposals to Restore an Inland Waterway's Ecosystem
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Everglades Restoration: The Federal Role in Funding
In 2000, Congress approved a 30-year, $7.8 billion restoration plan, termed the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), for the Everglades ecosystem in southern Florida, and authorized an initial set of projects at a cost of $1.4 billion. This report provides information on federal appropriations for Everglades restoration, and discusses some issues related to the authorization and appropriations for restoration projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8441/
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
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Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
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Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
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Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
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Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
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Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
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Wetland Mitigation Banking: Status and Prospects
Wetland protection is controversial because the federal government regulates activities on private lands and because the natural values at some of these regulated sites are being debated. This controversy pits property owners and development interests against environmentalists and others who seek to protect the remaining wetlands. Mitigation banking, which allows a person to degrade a wetland at one site if a wetland at another site is improved, has been identified as a potential answer to this shrill and seemingly intractable debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs474/
Global Access to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation: U.S. and International Programs
Report that focuses on bilateral water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) schemes authorized by the Water for the Poor Act. This report identifies some issues that donors and U.S. agencies face while carrying out global drinking water and sanitation projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227806/
Ecosystems, Biomes, and Watersheds: Definitions and Use
This paper describes the meaning and applications of ecosystem and of the related terms watershed and biome. It discusses the pros and cons of all three as organizing principles for land management, and the major issues that are likely to arise in the debate over ecosystem management. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs70/
Aging Infrastructure: Dam Safety
To help inform discussions on the federal role in dam safety, this report provides background information on the nation’s dam safety activities and funding mechanisms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7622/
Flood Risk Management: Federal Role in Infrastructure
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Federal Flood Insurance: The Repetitive Loss Problem
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Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
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Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
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Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
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Energy-Water Nexus: The Water Sector's Energy Use
This report provides background on energy for facilities that treat and deliver water to end users and also dispose of and discharge wastewater. This report first discusses water-related energy use broadly and then energy for facilities that treat and deliver water to end users and also dispose of and discharge wastewater. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284534/
Emergency Water Assistance During Drought: Federal Non-Agricultural Programs
This report discusses droughts in relation to several issues for Congress, including how to measure and predict drought, how to prepare, and how to coordinate federal agency actions responding to drought. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284466/
Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment
This report discusses the changing energy and economic landscape, as well as the roughly 25 bills introduced by the 112th Congress regarding hydropower (the use of flowing water to produce electricity). Congress is examining numerous energy sources to determine their contribution to the nation's energy portfolio and the federal role in supporting these sources, including hydropower. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93943/
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
This report presents an overview of the large and diverse sector of water infrastructure systems, describes security-related actions by the government and private sector since September 11, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462085/
Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment
This report explains how the federal government is involved directly in hydropower generation at federal facilities and in the regulation of nonfederal hydropower generation; the focus is on current roles and processes and common concerns and questions about changing those roles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462519/
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
This report examines the possibility of damage to or destruction of the nation's water supply and water quality infrastructure by terrorist attack or natural disaster, which could disrupt the delivery of vital human services in this country, threatening public health and the environment, or possibly causing loss of life. Interest in such problems increased after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462752/
Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management
The nation's energy choices embody many tradeoffs. Water use is one of those tradeoffs. The energy choices before Congress represent vastly different demands on domestic freshwater. The energy sector's water consumption is projected to rise 50% from 2005 to 2030. This rising water demand derives from both an increase in the amount of energy demanded and shifts to more water-intense energy sources and technologies. This report discusses this issue as well as related issues that may arise for the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31387/
Energy and Water Development: FY2011 Appropriations
This report discusses key budgetary issues for FY2011 involving the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy, and a number of independent agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103087/
Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Discount Rate for the Corps of Engineers' Water Resource Projects: Theory and Practice
Construction of large water resource projects, such as those of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), can be controversial because they involve trade-offs among various river uses, and between current and future generations. Pursuant to federal water project planning guidelines, the Corps weighs these trade-offs using benefit-cost analysis. If its analysis shows that a project’s national economic development (NED) benefits exceed its NED costs, the Corps seeks project authorization from Congress. Congress authorizes the Corps to construct some of these large water projects through (usually) biennial Water Resource Development Acts. Since the Corps rarely recommends a project that does not have a benefit-cost ratio greater than 1.0, this report describes the decisions that influence this ratio, with a focus on the role of the discount rate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9078/
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Army Corps of Engineers Authorization Issues
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Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report identifies funding for water infrastructure programs and projects contained in the legislation, including amounts in the House- and Senate-passed versions that preceded the conference agreement. Among the purposes identified in the legislation are preservation and creation of jobs and promotion of U.S. economic recovery, and investment in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87133/
Locally Operated Levees: Issues and Federal Programs
The report discusses the role of levees in flood risk reduction, the shared responsibilities for levees in the United States, and the role of three agencies: FEMA, the Corps, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It also discusses federal assistance for levees, describes the debate about whether levees investments have a role in federal flood mitigation programs, and compares Corps, FEMA, and NRCS activities and authorities. Finally, the report outlines policy options for locally-operated levees that might be considered by the 112th Congress. Legislative proposals in the 111th Congress are discussed in an Appendix. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99055/
Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress
This brief discusses the major issues for Congress which include whether to increase inland waterway funding in the future (and by what amount); the appropriate type of revenue stream (e.g., fuel taxes or lockage fees) for the user-required portion of these projects; division of the cost-share responsibilities between the federal government and commercial users (e.g., 50/50 or some other division); and whether to initiate process-based recommendations that some argue will improve the delivery and efficiency of Corps-led IWTF projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85386/
Hydraulic Fracturing and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Selected Issues
This report provides an overview of two situations in which agencies are arguing that they do not need to conduct a comprehensive environmental review of hydraulic fracturing under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85412/
South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
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Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Western Water Resource Issues
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Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Soil and Water Conservation Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10120/
Nationwide Permits for Wetlands Projects: Issues and Regulatory Developments
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Western Water Resource Issues
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South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10133/
Wetlands and Agriculture: Policy Issues in the 1995 Farm Bill
Wetlands protection efforts have been a major concern for agricultural interests since Congress enacted so-called swampbuster provisions in the 1985 Food Security Act. Under these provisions, all producers who alter wetlands risk losing certain farm program benefits. Determining which sites are wetlands and enforcement of penalties remain contentious issues. Controversy has been heightened by confusion over how this program is related to the principal Federal regulatory program to protect wetlands, section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and how wetland determinations affect land values and private property rights. Because the 103rd Congress did not reauthorize the Clean Water Act, some of the wetland issues raised in that debate might be raised in the farm bill. Another wetland protection program, the Wetland Reserve (WRP), was enacted in the 1990 farm bill. This program, which pays farmers to place wetlands under long-term or permanent easements, has been far less controversial. This paper reviews the swampbuster and WRP, as well as controversies surrounding delineation of wetlands and relationships between private property rights and wetland protection efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs146/
Western Water Resource Issues
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Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Desalination R and D: The New Federal Program
The purpose of the program is to determine the most technologically efficient and cost- effective means by which useable water can be produced from saline water or water otherwise impaired or contaminated. Currently, the cost of desalting seawater is 3 to 5 times the comparable cost of desalting brackish water, which is up to twice as expensive as the treatment and delivery of other municipal water supplies (not counting sewage-related costs). Funding for the new Desalination R&D Program is provided through Bureau of Reclamation's Office of Research in the Department of the Interior digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1043/
Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1994 Summary of S. 2019, as Passed
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Western Water Resource Issues
For more than a century, the federal government has constructed water resource projects for a variety of purposes, including flood control, navigation, power generation, and irrigation. Growing population and changing values have increased demands on water supplies and river systems, resulting in water use and management conflicts throughout the country, particularly in the West, where the population is expected to increase 30% in the next 20-25 years. Debate over western water resources revolves around the issue of how best to plan for and manage the use of this renewable, yet sometimes scarce and increasingly sought after, resource. The 109th Congress is considering a number of bills on western water issues, including title transfer, water recycling, and rural water supply legislation, as well as Indian water rights settlement legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10517/