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Interstate Water Management Committee Meeting Summary July 21, 2020 Webinar–Shawn Jackson, AR Dept. of Ag, Natural Resources Division–Arkansas Interstate River basin activities

  1. Call to Order—Chair Drew Dehoff, SRBC called to order at 10:03 a.m. Central time.
  • Introductions of Participants on the call—Drew Dehoff, Chair; Sue Lowry; Amy Shallcros; Shawn Jackson; Brian Atkins; Ann Williams (Intern U. of Alabama student in Brian’s office); Rhonda Manning; Heidi Moltz.

Shawn began by mentioning their agency is now a division of the Department of Ag in Arkansas. The compacts which Arkansas is a party are in the western part of the state.  There is no compact on the eastern side which is bordered by the Mississippi River. The Arkansas River basin compact between Arkansas and Oklahoma, covers the basin beginning at the point below the Grand-Neosho River.  Phosphate run off from poultry farms was one issue that led to the compact negotiation and this compact deals with water quality, not water allocation.  A principle statement was negotiated between the 2 states which set up a Joint Study Committee to agree on water quality standards between the 2 states.  The second compact Shawn discussed is the Red River compact between Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.  Water delivery in the Boeuf River has sometimes fallen below the amount specified in the compact, some of which is due to the flat terrain which makes gaging extremely difficult. 

Arkansas also participates in the Gulf Coast Hypoxia Task Force which, although not a compact, does foster cooperation among the states.  

  • Update of the 2006 Interstates Report  
    • Final Report and Executive Summary—Executive Summary is finished, and full Report is 99% there.  Graphics contractor is ready to add the last touches to the full report.  Sue will post to the website when both are completed.  A press release will also go out and we will ask sister water organizations to help get the word out about the Report’s availability. 
    • Primer—Map update—Drew’s GIS person is looking into whether the original .pdf can be located or if it’s more time efficient to just begin with a new coverage.  Some of the compacts on the map need to be removed and some need added.   
    • Roll out details—A few more assignments for clean up of language in the Primer were made on the call with a deadline of getting edits to Sue by Friday, July 24.  Sue will get the final text updated and sent to Drew so that Pat can lay out the formatting and be ready to complete once the map update is finished.  A roll out of 4-6 week after the Report is acceptable, but it’s desirable to have the Primer completed prior to the annual meeting. 
  • Discuss Interstates session during virtual Annual Meeting—Oct. 15.  The session will highlight the completion of the Report and the development of the Primer.  We probably have time for a couple more interstate topics and still leave time for the Annual Membership meeting, also scheduled for Oct. 15.  Ideas for other presentations are Gulf Coast Hypoxia Task Force, the groundwater litigation between Mississippi and Tennessee, and Stephen Bartell from Dept. of Interior. 
  • Identify 1-3 Principle Statements topics from 2020 Workplan.  Drew had drafted two Principle statement headings for the committee’s review.  During the meeting a 3rd was added on the call of Data Sharing Across Statelines.  Drew will now add the other sections to each principle statement and circulate to the committee.  The Board will be holding a strategy session Aug. 24 and 25 and the Principle statements need to be forwarded from each committee prior to Aug. 24.  
  • Other items for the Committee’s consideration
    • Other issues for 2020 
      • Update on MS/TN groundwater litigation—this may be covered during the annual meeting
      • Compact case studies—begin to identify other committee presentations for after the annual meeting. 
  • Next call —set for September 15 (Tuesday) at 10 a.m. Central

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 Accomplishments:

  • Updated the 2006 “Interstate Water Solutions” report
  • Drafted an Interstates Water Primer
  • Updated Interstate Water Management Case Studies

Issues for 2020 Workplan

  1. Complete Interstates Report update
    1. Complete Primer
    1. Update on MS/TN groundwater litigation
    1. Compact case studies—Many of our state/interstate members have expertise on individual compacts and their administration.  The water quality issues between Arkansas and Oklahoma has been suggested.  There are likely other examples across the country.  Sue mentioned seeing Stephen Bartell at the ARWA meeting and he is willing to provide an update on the various interstate litigation the Dept. of Justice is involved in.
    1. Work with interstate water organizations to highlight, promote and nourish regional approaches and effective organizations.

Hear about Federal cases:  Stephen Bartell—Solicitor’s office

Federal Reserved Rights Primer (perhaps Norm Johnson could do a similar webinar to what he presented at AWRA)

Ask member states/interstates to give talk 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