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Legislation & Policy Committee Meeting Summary May 31, 2019 Conference Call

  1. Call to Order—Chair Kirsten Wallace; UMRBA—called to order at 9:03 a.m. central. 
  2. Introductions of Participants on the call:  Kirsten Wallace, Chair, UMRBA; Sue Lowry, ICWP Executive Director; Peter Evans; Tom Littlepage, Alabama OWR; Pooja Kanwar, MN DNR; Richard Friesner, NEIWPCC; Drew Dehoff, SRBC. 
  3. Dept. of Interior Reorganization —
    1. Recent Hearing before House Resources—Sue noted that Carlee Brown is now working on the Committee staff.  Carlee has worked for both Western Governor’s Assn. and the Colo. Water Conservation Board and will be a great contact for ICWP.  Sue sent her the ICWP letter on DoI Reorganization concerns. Any future re-alignments by the USGS to combine Water Science Centers was also discussed. 
  4. GOES – FCC Spectrum Feedback period through June 21—Sue reported that the Water Data and Science committee is also working on this topic. Randy Hadland agreed on the last WD&S call to develop a list of talking points about this issue to share with ICWP members to encourage them to submit letters to the FCC by the June 21 deadline.  The main concern is that auctioning off any of the radio spectrum used by the GOES system could interfere with the transmission of hydrologic data across the country. 
  5. USGS Streamgaging Support multi-signature letter
    1. Final letter delivered to House and Senate Interior Approps Sub-Committee during Roundtable

Peter Evans noted that in the Green Book describing each agency’s budget request, the Water Mission area for the USGS is now down to only two areas.   The committee would like the opportunity to discuss several of these USGS matters directly with Don Cline and he will be invited to join our next call. 

  • Other items for the Committee’s consideration
    • Ideas for Speakers/Topics for Mobile, AL Annual Meeting Oct. 8-10

Tom mentioned the Integrated Water Availability Assessments that Mindi Dalton introduced at the Roundtable.  Getting a more in-depth presentation on the IWAA and any progress made on the pilot areas would be good.  Also, the topic of Uncertainty in Modeling.  Tom mentioned an analysis that the USGS is doing looking at 9000 HUC 12’s to help answer the question of “how many gages are needed” for model accuracy. A panel on the extreme weather in 2019 could be added. Kirsten mentioned a webinar being held by America’s Watershed Initiative in June will look at the change in volume of total water in the Mississippi River basin.  

  • Completing a survey for priorities/topics from full ICWP membership

A discussion was held on whether any priority listing should accompany the FY20 invoices that will be sent to all ICWP members in late June.  This issue will be added to the Board’s June 13 call agenda. 

Pooja noted that as a new committee member, it takes time to get up to speed on the topics before the Committee and perhaps some overview documenting the work of each committee could be useful for new members as well as a good outreach tool for ICWP to prospective members. 

  • Set next call or webinar—Sue will check Don Cline’s availability for late June.  The items to discuss with Don include:  USGS Budget and implications for Streamgaging Stakeholder Support letter, ACWI next meeting and member appointments; DoI Reorg and any other USGS WSC consolidation.

 (post meeting note:  Next call and discussion with Don has been set for June 26 at 9:00 a.m. Central time.)

List of topics previously identified by the Committee for Future work:

Priority Topics for Committee:

  1. Dept. of Interior Re-organization
    1. USGS Streamgaging support—getting letter to more audiences and reviewing stakeholder list for omissions 
    1. National Water Model—promoting water supply forecasting capabilities
    1. Drought Planning/Preparedness-NIDIS Support (& the DEWS)
      1. Drought Forum in Washington DC July 30-31
    1. USACE Partnership Agreements liability clause
      1. Other items for a possible WRDA2020