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Legislation & Policy Committee Meeting Summary –November 3, 2021 Webinar–WRDA2022 Priorities

Recorded meeting available on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/DIxl4JBMmiU


  1. Call to Order—Kirsten Wallace, UMRBA; Chair was delayed in joining the call. Sue called to order at 10:02


  1. Introductions of Participants on the call: Sue Lowry; John Boyer; Stacey Mulholland; Chace Tavelli; Ed Swaim; Bennett Bearden; John Anderson; Geoff Bowman; SeungAh Byun; Owen Mills; Drew Dehoff; Kim Lutz; Scott Arends; Joy Loughery; Matt Unruh; Mabel Jones; Jeff Cowley; Alice Perry; Wade Loseman; Richard Friesner; Kirsten Wallace-Chair.


  1. Updates from Van Scoyoc Associates to committee members: Geoff Bowman discussed these current activities in Washington DC:
    1. Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act
    2. Build Back Better
    3. FY2022 Appropriations bills
    4. Debt Ceiling limit

Geoff reminded the group of the slim margins for the Democratic leadership in both the Senate and House and how that is impacting the negotiations.  Geoff feels it is likely that another Continuing Resolution for the federal budget will be extended to February or March. Earmarks generally do not get funded during CRs. Big increases for SRF and other Drinking Water infrastructure remain in the bill.

  1. WRDA 2022-
    1. Develop list of priority topics
    2. December deadlines in Senate

WRDA—Senate EPW has created a portal for associations to submit their requests for WRDA 2022.  Congressional offices will set their deadlines at least 2 weeks prior to the Dec. 17 committee deadline.  ICWP plans to focus on PPA; beneficial use of dredged material and support for PAS. Input on the House side for T & I committee likely to be Jan-Feb. Although it is not certain if CWA topics will be added to the WRDA bill, Geoff suggests raising those topics anyway as it is possible that a companion, stand-alone will be drafted. Owen will share a recent letter OWRB sent to Sen. Inhofe’s office.  If committee members have other topics to add to ICWP’s priority list, please get those to Sue by Nov. 22.


  1. Topics/Projects for 2022 Interns (January start for Spring Semester)—If any committee members have ideas for Intern Projects for the upcoming year, please get those to Sue by December 1.


  1. Legislation to track:
    1. 2021 Infrastructure Packages—water related opportunities
    2. USGS/DOI FY21 Appropriations
    3. Support for NOAA-NWS Atlas 14 Precipitation Frequency Estimates (Atlas 14) or other Extreme precipitation estimating tools—PRECIP and FLOODS legislation –Support letters from ASDSO & ASCE


  1. Set next call or webinar –next webinar set for Thursday, December 9.



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 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 letters to House T&I committee, Senate EPW and to House and Senate leadership


Issues for 2021 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)
  1. Reauthorization topics for WUDR
  2. National Water Model—promoting water supply forecasting capabilities
  3. NOAA/DOI Improved Forecasting Action Plan
  4. NWS Atlas 14 –Support for PRECIP legislation
  5. Legislation Following:


2021 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
  4. Facilitate a national conversation on Extreme Precipitation Products and Models
    1. Invite organizations to form coalition to work on issue

Arrange Forum in 2021 to hear current state of Atlas 14 and other non-federal products that provide similar extreme precip estimates