To assure that development of certain Federal oil and gas resources will occur in ways that protect water resources and respect the rights of the surface owners, and for other purposes.


Western Waters and Farm Lands Protection Act - Amends the Mineral Leasing Act to require operators producing oil or gas (including coalbed methane) to: (1) replace water supplies affected by drilling; and (2) submit water management plans along with their lease applications.

Prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from authorizing exploration and drilling operations on lands where title to oil and gas resources is owned by the United States but the surface estate is owned by a non-federal entity unless: (1) an agreement has been reached with the surface owner (with the possibility of arbitration); or (2) the operator has made a good faith attempt to secure such an agreement and meets other specified requirements. Permits the Secretary to authorize such operations, subject to certain conditions, in the absence of an agreement with the surface estate owner or owners.

Requires the Secretary to give surface owners advance notice of lease sales.

Requires operators to meet specified reclamation standards for lands affected by oil or gas production and to post reclamation bonds.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) develop a federal remediation program for abandoned wells drilled to explore or develop federally owned minerals or located on federal lands; and (2) establish a technical assistance program for states and Indian tribes addressing environmental problems caused by abandoned wells on other lands.

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