Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Water Resources Planning Act

Water Resources Planning Act (42 U.S.C. 1962a - 1962(a)(4)(e); P.L. 89-80; July 22, 1965; 79 Stat. 245) as amended by:

P.L.94-112; October 16, 1975; 89 Stat. 575; P.L. 95-404; September 30, 1978; 92 Stat. 864; and P.L. 97-449; January 12, 1983; 96 Stat. 2441.

Title I of the 1965 Water Resources Planning Act established a Water Resources Council to be composed of Cabinet representatives, including the Secretary of the Interior. Title II established River Basin Commissions and stipulated their duties and authorities.

The Council was empowered to maintain a continuing assessment of the adequacy of water supplies in each region of the U.S. In addition, the Council was mandated to establish principles and standards for Federal participants in the preparation of river basin plans and in evaluating Federal water projects. Upon receipt of a river basin plan, the Council was required to review the plan with respect to agricultural, urban, energy, industrial, recreational and fish and wildlife needs.

Title III established a grant program to assist States in participating in the development of related comprehensive water and land use plans.

Amendments enacted in 1975 (P.L.94-112) added several Cabinet representatives to the Council, including the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and authorized appropriations through FY 1978.

The 1978 amendments (P.L.95-404) authorized appropriations though fiscal year 1979 and stipulated the apportionment of Federal planning monies for certain specific tasks, including the Columbia River Estuary Special Study; the New England Port and Harbor Study; the Hudson River Basin Level B study; and the Connecticut River Basin.

Amendments enacted in 1983 as part of the Department of Transportation and Motor Carrier Safety Act (P.L. 97-449) required that the Council develop standards and criteria for economic evaluation of water resource projects, and defined what would constitute the primary direct navigation benefits of a water resource project.

Public Law 100-460, approved October 1, 1988, (102 Stat. 2262) stipulates that none of the funds appropriated through this or any other Act can be used to alter the method of computing normalized prices for agricultural commodities for use by Federal agencies in evaluating water resources development projects undertaken with Federal funds.

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