, ,

Legislation & Policy Committee Meeting Summary May 14, 2020 Conference Call

  1. Call to Order—Kirsten Wallace, UMRBA; Chair began the meeting at 10:02 a.m. Central. 
  • Introductions of Participants on the call:  Kirsten Wallace, Chair; Sue Lowry, ICWP; Brian Atkins, Matt Unruh, Shuhai Zheng, Jesse Bradley, Gail Melgren, Richard Friesner; Sam Swartz, Shawn Jackson, Brian Chalfant; Christopher Estes; Katherine Zitsch. 
  • WRDA 2020 (AWIA in Senate)
    • Review of key provisions in AWIA released by EPW
    • Develop potential letter to House T&I on AWIA provisions we support or would like to see changes in the House
    • Discuss straw dog list sent out on 5/11 

The committee started a list of priority provisions by Section from the AWIA that was recently passed out of Senate EPW.  Sue will draft 2 letters, with similar content;  one to the Senate leadership and one to the House T & I committee highlighting the following sections or topics:

–Support Sec. 1014-allowing Secretary the option to look at regional and local benefits in addition to benefits to the national economy.

–Support Section 1044, but still need improved language on Project Partnership Agreements Indemnification and Perpetual O&M

–Section 1090  High water-low water preparedness.  Could Support with modification.   The states which border the inland waterway for which such an emergency condition would be determined must also be consulted, in addition to the Coast Guard. 

–Support Sec.1095  Selection of dredged material disposal method for certain purposes.

–Support Sec.1503  Planning Assistance for States. Request additional language be added to align in-kind services %’s in PAS programs. 

–Support Sec.1504  Forecast-informed reservoir operations. 

–Support Sec.1505.Study on data for water allocation, supply, and demand. Request NAS to get input from national water organizations prior to launching study. 

Support Sec. 2002  Increased funding for technical assistance. 

Support Sec.2013.Water data sharing pilot program. 

  • Drought identified as cross cutting topic across all committees
    • NIDIS all-committee webinar update Tuesday, May 19 at 2:30 p.m. Central. Sue mentioned that all ICWP members are welcome to join this NIDIS briefing as well as the other 2 federal briefings organized by WestFAST.  The USGS and NRCS will be presenting the other two webinars. 
  • USGS 
    • Stakeholder support letter delivered end of March with 57 organizations signing on
    • Support for 3DEP & NHD products in 2021—Sue recapped calls she held with USGS mapping team and JB Byrd who organizes the 3DEP coalition support letter.  JB welcomes ICWP input next spring to expand the 3DEP message to also include the NHD mapping products. 
  • Legislation to track:
    • Support for NOAA-NWS Atlas 14 Point Precipitation Frequency Estimates (Atlas 14) Lauren Salvato at UMRBA passed along to Sue work that the University of Wisconsin is doing related to modeling maximum precipitation events.  Sue has had a call with Dr. Wright and is reviewing some of his papers now to see if that may alter any position ICWP may take in supporting the Atlas 14 program at NWS. 
    • Resilient Communities Revolving Loan Fund Act
  • Set next call for Thursday, June 18 at 10 a.m. Central time.

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

2019 Accomplishments:

  • Submitted a letter on Dept. 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

2020 Accomplishments:

  • Submitted WRDA20 support letter to House T&I committee

Issues for 2020 Workplan

  1. WRDA2020 Topics
    1. USACE Partnership Agreements
      1. Liability Clause
      1. Indemnification
    1. Other items for WRDA2020
      1. PAS cost share to include in-kind for Tech Services
      1. Major rehab costs relative to annual OMRR&R
      1. Spreading large OMRR&R costs over several years
      1. Support for FIRO
      1. Support for WIFIA
  2. USGS Streamgaging support—getting letter to more audiences and reviewing stakeholder list for omissions 
    1. Opportunity for a states’ support letter
    1. Whether to expand to Water Use and other topics beyond Streamgaging
  3. Drought Planning/Preparedness-NIDIS Support (& the DEWS)
    1. Items from NDRP’s Action Plan that ICWP supports
    1. Baseline funding for USDM
    1. Support for a new ag-centric product (better capture flash drought)
  4. Reauthorization topics for WUDR
  5. National Water Model—promoting water supply forecasting capabilities
  6. NOAA/DOI Improved Forecasting Action Plan
  7. NWS Atlas 14 Update
  8. Legislation Following:
    1. Resilient Communities Revolving Loan Fund Act (HR3779)
    1. Rep. Huffman FUTURE Drought Resiliency Act