March 13, 2014(Key vote)
Title: Water Rights Protection Act
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that prohibits the transfer or lease of federal property to be contingent upon the release of the property's water rights to the United States.
Prohibits the transfer or lease of any permit, license, or other use agreement from being contingent upon the transfer of any “water right” to the United States by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture (Sec. 2).
Prohibits the Secretaries from requiring any water user to apply for or acquire a “water right” in the name of the United States under state law as a condition of a land use or occupancy agreement (Sec. 2).
Defines “water right” as any surface, groundwater, or storage use recognized by a judicial proceeding or the state in which the user acquires possession of the water or puts it to beneficial use (Sec. 3).
Specifies that this act does not affect certain other federal laws, including, but not limited to, the following (Secs. 4-9):
Does not limit or expand the legally recognized authority of the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture;
Does not affect the implementation of the Endangered Species Act; and
Does not limit or expand any existing reserved water right or treaty right of any federally recognized Indian tribe.