, ,

Legislation & Policy Committee Meeting Summary –April 13, 2022 Webinar

Link to Meeting Recording:    https://youtu.be/N7beUxV3BeM

  1. Call to Order—Kirsten Wallace, UMRBA; Chair called the committee to order at 10:02 a.m. Central.
  2. Introductions of Participants on the call: Kirsten Wallace, Chair; Sue Lowry; Drew Dehoff; Kim Lutz; Geoff Bowman; Chace Tavelli; Mike Nardolilli; Peter Evans; SeungAh Byun; Christopher Estes; Wade Loseman; Katherine Zitsch.
  3. Updates from Van Scoyoc Associates to committee members—Please refer to the above link to the recording of Geoff Bowman’s comments for details. Highlights of topics he discussed were:

FY2023 Budget development is now in full swing with the release of the President’s Budget request.  Late April deadlines from the committees to members so individual congressional offices deadlines are approaching or past for specific project requests.  Discussion of the use of earmarks in the Senate and House—somewhere between $500K and $5M is the range for a viable request by a member for an earmarked project.  Historically, the Appropriations Committee tries to determine the USACE Division’s capabilities in a given year and not give appropriations above that to reduce issue of unspent funds at the end of a fiscal year.

  1. Discuss support for raising the state cap for USGS WUDR grants—might be good to better understand why the remining states haven’t availed themselves of the funding. Is it only staff and other resources limitations or other reasons and could ICWP be of any assistance in getting those who have applied to see benefit of applying in future years.
  2. Issues from Roundtable
    1. Letter to Water Sub-cabinet agencies
      1. Involve states/interstates in Equity programs—rollout/implementation & Federal agency Climate Action Plans—Geoff encouraged that ICWP could enhance our visibility by assuring that state water management primacy is recognized in the climate Action plans.
      2. Aligning federal actions with state/interstate needs (different than coordination only)
  • Sue summarized the meetings held with the USGS leadership during the Roundtable as well as the Thursday morning presentations by the Water Sub-cabinet.
  1. Legislation to track:
    1. Infrastructure Packages—water related opportunities
    2. USGS/DOI FY23 President’s Budget
      1. USGS Streamgage support letter—delivered late March
    3. Support for NOAA-NWS Extreme precipitation estimating tools and improved water supply forecasts— Atlas 14 development with IIJA funds
    4. 2372—Recovering America’s Wildlife Act—contains water technical assistance funding and seems to have fairly broad support.
  2. Other items for the Committee’s consideration—What other topics for future meetings? And how can L & P committee assure that our positions encompass all members’ perspectives.
  3. Set next call or webinar –Set for Thursday, June 2 at 3 p.m. Central.

Legislation and Policy Committee:  Stay abreast of national legislation important to ICWP membership; Educate and advocate for state/interstate positions to Congress and federal agencies


  • Submitted a letter on of Interior Re-organization
  • Sent letter to ASA Rd James regarding PAS funding for full range of authorized purposes
  • Submitted WRDA20 support letter to Senate EPW committee
  • Submitted WRDA20 support letters to House T&I committee, Senate EPW and to House and Senate leadership

Issues for 2022 Workplan

  1. WRDA2022 Preparation Topics
  2. USGS Streamgaging support—getting letter to more audiences and reviewing stakeholder list for omissions
    1. Opportunity for a states’ support letter
    2. Whether to expand to Water Use and other topics beyond Streamgaging
  3. Drought Planning/Preparedness-NIDIS Support (& the DEWS)
    • Baseline funding for USDM
  1. Support for a new ag-centric product (better capture flash drought)
  2. Reauthorization topics for WUDR
  3. National Water Model—promoting water supply forecasting capabilities
  4. NOAA/DOI Improved Forecasting Action Plan
  5. NWS Atlas 14 – Funding via IIJA
  6. Legislation Following:

2022 Action Plan Items

  1. Provide broader leadership on PPA Liability and Indemnification Barriers
    1. Pursue Congressional hearing on this issue
    2. Arrange for meeting with USACE Office of Counsel
  2. Develop Advocacy “How To” webinar series
  3. Discussion of lessons learned at NGWOS basins are added