H.R. 1904 would appropriate $120 million to the Reclamation Water Settlements Fund beginning in 2031 and every year thereafter to pay for the cost of any future Indian water settlements entered into during 2031 and future years. The fund was established to provide dedicated funding for federally approved Indian water settlements, which generally require construction of water distribution facilities. Because the appropriation would occur after 2030, CBO estimates there would be no effect on the budget over the 2020-2030 period.
Under current law, about $1.2 billion is available to fund those settlements over the 2020-2030 period. However, the fund expires in 2034 and any unobligated amounts will not be available for water settlements after that expiration. The bill would eliminate the termination date.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1904 would increase direct spending by about $1 billion in each of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2031. Thus, enacting the bill would not increase on-budget deficits by more than $5 billion in any of those periods.