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Legislation & Policy Committee Meeting Summary March 14, 2019 Conference Call

  1. Call to Order—Chair Kirsten Wallace; UMRBA—called to order at 8:04 a.m.
  • Introductions of Participants on the call—Kirsten Wallace, UMRBA, Chair; Sue Lowry, Executive Director, Pooja Kanwar, MNDNR; Tom Littlepage and Brian Atkins, Alabama OWR; Gail Melgren, Tri-State Water Coalition; Theresa Christian, ICWP Intern, Richard Friesner, NEIWPCC
  • Dept. of Interior Reorganization —Unable to obtain a DOI rep to discuss the Reorg at the roundtable meeting—Still reaching out to find speaker

Kirsten recapped the events that led up to ICWP sending the letter to Acting Secretary Bernhardt and the lack of response ICWP has received from multiple contacts to various staff at HQ of DoI.  Sue described the Congressional conference language that was in the appropriations bill for Interior directing the Dept. to be “transparent and involve stakeholders” in the reorg implementation. 

  • USGS Streamgaging Support multi-signature letter
    • Draft letter is being circulated to obtain signatures—Deadline 3/22
    • Intern is gathering signatures
    • Final letter will be ready to deliver at Roundtable—

Added on support for the Next Generation Water Observation System this year—past letters had only supported the 2 streamgaging programs. Intern Jackson Drury is doing a good job tracking signatures and updating contacts. 

  • Priorities for Washington DC Roundtable visits—Developing Fact Sheets
    • Dept. of Interior Re-organization
    • USGS Streamgaging support
    • National Water Model—promoting water supply forecasting capabilities
    • Drought Planning/Preparedness-NIDIS Support (& the DEWS)
    • USACE Partnership Agreements liability clause (attached docs)
    • Issues to raise with Water Sub-cabinet members

Several questions were raised relative to the National Water Model.  Sue will draft a request to Tom Graziano to cover several topics of interest to ICWP including how other federal agencies have been involved, progress on modeling for future water supplies and how low flow predications will be incorporated. We will also ask the NIDIS rep at the RT whether the July 30-31 Drought Forum is open or by invitation.  Kirsten and Jimmy Hague from TNC will make a presentation at the RT on the Project Partnership Agreement concerns.  

  • Knowlegis—Sue contacted CQ and although it’s a very powerful tool—quite expensive for small organization like ICWP

Sue described that CQ had shown her a demo of Knowlegis and while it has many features, the cost is exorbitant for ICWP’s budget. 

  • Other legislation to track:

HR 4905 from last Congress—Being introduced as IMAGES-Board agreed to sign endorsement letter to support (Improvement of Mapping, Addresses, Geography, Elevations, and Structures Act’’ or IMAGES Act.)

  • Other items for the Committee’s consideration
  • Set next call or webinar—Set for Friday, April 26 at 9 Central