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Interstate Water Management Committee Meeting Summary March 23, 2021–Discussion with Peter Johnson–Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers

  1. Call to Order—Chair Drew Dehoff, SRBC—called to order at 10:05 a.m. Central
  • Introductions of Participants on the call—Drew Dehoff, Chair; Sue Lowry; Peter Johnson; Amy Shallcross; Kim Lutz; Dan Miller; Sam Swartz; Rhonda Manning, Ken Brazil, Kirsten Wallace.
  • Presentation by Peter Johnson,  Deputy Director, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers (GLSLGP)—Pdf of Peter’s slides can be found HERE

Peter began with an overview of the watersheds for each of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.  The Great Lakes Commission (GLC)—addresses States issues/topics compared to GLSLGP directly works on issues of the Governors and Premiers.  Organized as a 501(c)(3).  Peter listed out the main areas of work, including Restoration and Protection—Aquatic Invasive Species.  GLSLGP works on these issues by bringing together resources and parties interested in a common goal, non-regulatory. Economic Development-usually a high priority for Governors and Premiers. Tourism promotion such as Cruise Great Lakes. Regional Maritime Strategy—choke point at Soo Lock.  Impact Investment Platform—private investment and financing dollars to be encouraged to come to the Great Lakes region. Provide Environmental Metrics to use to compare projects, but don’t take a position on one project over another.  Peter gave more context to the two compacts—one governs activities of the Great Lakes Commission and a second one providing authority to the Governors and Premiers that was driven by an Ontario plan to export water to Asia.  Compact—only US states (8 states) are members.  2005 Agreement developed to include Provinces (Quebec and Ontario). 

  • Update of the 2006 Interstates Report  
    • Primer, Final Report and Executive Summary all now on-line
    • Minor edit from KWO—New version without mention of flood agreement between Kansas and Missouri is on-line.  
  • Intern Topics related to Interstate river management—Update on Katherine Tucker’s project—survey has been sent to several interstate commissions and organizations.  Her project report will help ICWP and readers understand the mix and source of dollars for each organization.  
  • Report out of other ICWP committee activities—an outcome of Board’s Strategic Planning to make sure not siloing between committee activities.   Sue mentioned that the USGS Stakeholder letter has been circulated to potential signatories with a goal of delivering the letter to Interior Appropriations in early April.  The Legislation and Policy committee is tracking a number of water related bills that have been introduced into the current congress. 
  • Raising visibility of intestate compact commissions/organizations to Biden administration—Roundtable discussion questions for panels:

Infrastructure bills—environmental justice and water uses for underserved communities; we should tee up these topics if they are not raised by the panelists as the high priorities of the new administration.  

  • Other items for the Committee’s consideration/2021 Workplan
    • Other issues for committee presentations 
      • Great Lakes –presentation by Great Lakes Commission next mtg
      • Compact case studies
  • Next webinar—set for May 18; 10 a.m. Central—Erika Jensen, Great Lakes Commission 

See if Katherine Tucker would present at next meeting after May on the interstates funding survey she completed. 

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

2019-20 Accomplishments:

  • Updated the 2006 “Interstate Water Solutions” report
  • Completed an Interstates Water Primer
  • Updated Interstate Water Management Case Studies
  1. Primer and Updated Interstates Report completed
    1. Update on MS/TN groundwater litigation at 2020 Annual Meeting
    1. Compact case studies—new ones were added to updated report

Issues for 2021 Workplan

  1. Invite speakers from the various Great Lakes Basin interstate organizations to better understand how the various groups interact and complement each other
  • 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.