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Interstate Water Management Committee Meeting Summary April 21, 2022–Presentation by Drew Dehoff, Susquehanna River Basin Commission

Link to Meeting Recording:  https://youtu.be/uh6Px19dJ0Q

  1. Call to Order—Chair Drew Dehoff, SRBC called the committee to order at 10:02 a.m. Central time.
  2. Introductions of Participants on the call: Drew Dehoff, Chair; Sue Lowry; Owen Mills; Adel Abdullah; Mel Fegler; Wei Han; Amy Shallcross; Kelly Pennington; Jeff Cowley; Brian Atkins; Mike Hill; Wes Cattoor; Jennifer Schellpeper; Eric Rosenburg; Shaili Pfeiffer; SeungAh Byun; Ed Swaim; Christopher Estes; Katherine Zitsch; Wade Loseman.
  3. Presentation by Drew Dehoff, Susquehanna River Basin Commission—Transbasin Diversions in Susquehanna River basin

Drew began his discussion with some background information about the Susquehanna River basin and its importance to Chesapeake Bay.  The Susquehanna River Basin Commission formed in 1971 for broad water management reasons and has regulatory authority.  Feds are a full equal, voting partner represented by the USACE and states of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland. Initial issues envisioned by the compact included:  Water use for power generation; public water supply diversions ; Chesapeake Bay. Chester Water Authority service areas are in both Susquehanna and Delaware River basins.  Deliveries by Chester and Baltimore handled uniquely by the Compact and Commission.  In 1998 SRBC adopted a Diversion Policy.  Future issues include Drought Management and Drew explained a Case Study with Baltimore Operations; Diversion Policy Revisions (aid to smaller diversions on or near divide); Outlook of increased uses by Chester, Baltimore, Gettysburg, Cecil County Maryland. Have low flow threshold that don’t want to decrease due to new diversions/consumptions.  For further details on Drew’s presentation, please watch the full recording at the above link.

  1. ICWP Washington DC Roundtable Summary—Sue and Drew recapped the highlights of the Roundtable held April 5-7 including the appearance by federal agencies involved int eh Water Sub-cabinet.
  2. Other items for the Committee’s consideration/2022 Workplan
    1. Other issues for committee presentations
      1. Board asked this committee to lead Trans-basin Diversions Discussions -Topics for Coordinated webinars
        1. Republican River case study
        2. Colorado trans-basin projects
        3. Landon Marston—Interbasin transfers study just completed for USGS—should be ready to release this fall
        4. Missouri River transfers (suggested by Shaili Pfeiffer)
      2. Compact case studies
  • Other Topics for committee
  1. Next webinar—Set for Thursday, June 23 at 2 p.m. Central.Jim Schneider, Olsson will be the presenter.

Interstate Water Management Committee:  Educate public officials about value of interstate water management organizations.  Provide a forum for sharing current trends in interstate issues.

2019-21 Accomplishments:

  • Updated the 2006 “Interstate Water Solutions” report
  • Completed an Interstates Water Primer
  • Updated Interstate Water Management Case Studies
  • Held series of webinars hearing from various Great Lakes organizations
  • Katherine Tucker provided a summary of her survey on interstate’s funding
  • Webinar held on FL v. GA litigation

Issues for 2022 Workplan

  • Hold series of webinars on Trans basin diversions across the country
  • Federal Reserved Rights Primer (perhaps Norm Johnson could do a similar webinar to what he presented at AWRA-SLC)
  • Ask member states/interstates to give talks on recent litigation

            Republican River Basin (KS and NE)

            Montana v Wyoming—Chris Brown from Wyoming AG’s office

            Ken Brazil mentioned some Water Quality interstate litigation

  • Work with interstate water organizations to highlight, promote and nourish regional approaches and effective organizations.