Interstate Council on Water Policy
Board of Directors Meeting
July 12, 2018
The meeting took place by phone. Director participants included: Julie Cunningham (Chair), Brian Atkins (Vice Chair), Pam Bush (Second Vice Chair and Secretary), Dru Buntin, Drew DeHoff (Treasurer) and Heidi Moltz. Jennifer Hoggatt (working with Dru Buntin on updating the MO Water Plan) and Jen Orr (joining the from Pennsylvania DEP) also attended, as did Executive Director Sue Lowry.
⦁ Call to order – Julie Cunningham called the meeting to order shortly after 11 a.m. Eastern. No additions or changes to the draft agenda were proposed. These minutes reflect the significant issues reviewed and resolutions adopted.
⦁ Minutes of June 7, 2018 – Three corrections to the draft Minutes were offered, all to sections of the Executive Director’s Report as follows: a spelling correction to the name of CDM’s Tim Feather; a correction to the effect that AWRA’s National Leadership Institute is not “new” but in its fourth year; and a clarification that the University’s shuttle from Birmingham Airport is about $65-$75 per person. Dru moved for approval with these corrections; Drew seconded, and the Minutes were unanimously approved.
⦁ Treasurer’s Report (Drew DeHoff) As of July 1, ICWP still has an account at Commerce Bank, with a balance of 589.34. The Wells Fargo account balance is $34,038.53; and our PayPal balance is $337.60. A $400 check (a belated registration payment) is pending, for a total of $35,365.47 in assets. Liabilities include Sue’s June invoice in the amount of $4,000, plus $49.49 for supplies, leaving a fund balance of $31,315.98.
Drew reported expenses over the past month of $1,170, including deposits to an Oklahoma City bus company for a tour at the annual meeting ($128) and to the YMCA for the Estes Park meeting in August ($431); our monthly website management fee to Oturia ($100); a down-payment to Herculiz for web and logo design services ($475); and $36 for new checks.
The sum of $441 and change – ICWP’s share of proceeds from the 2018 Washington Round Table – was received from Western States Water Council. Through July 1, dues were received in the amount of approximately $12,000. Sue noted that another $11,000 had been received since.
⦁ Vote to elect Jen Orr to fill a vacant Board slot until Annual Meeting
Sue introduced Jen Orr, Director of Compacts and Commissions and Acting Director of Planning and Conservation of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Jen has worked with PADEP for approximately 12 years, on such matters as interstate water rights, interstate commissions, Clean Water Act Section 319 funding, state water planning, coastal zone management and Great Lakes issues. Before joining PADEP, Jen worked for six years at the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC). Jen is a biologist by training, and earned her Master’s degree at Penn State. Pam moved and Drew seconded Jen’s election to a vacant slot on the Board, pending the election during the 2018 Annual Meeting of new Board members (expected to include Jen) to serve full terms.
5) Executive Director’s Report (Sue Lowry)
⦁ Memberships, Dues. Sue sent invoices out during the week of June 20 and received positive responses from sponsor firms, including In Situ, Inc. and some others. As of July 12, she had received checks in the amount of over $23,000. She noted that NEIWPPC had responded with a payment after allowing its membership to lapse for the past couple of years. Re-subscribing sponsors include Xylem at the “Gold” level, for $7,500. Tim Feather of CDM apologized for allowing his firm’s support to lapse in 2017 and re-committed to a “Bronze” level sponsorship this year. Kisters North America joined as an affiliate but said it would consider support at the “Bronze” and “Silver” sponsor levels. Olsson Associates also joined, and Sue had a positive conversation with a representative of Aquatic Informatics.
Sue circulated a spreadsheet in June identifying prospective members and affiliates/sponsors. She asked members to send her additional leads/names if they had them.
There was some discussion, but no resolution, regarding how ICWP should recognize its affiliates and sponsors – one the website and at events – in ways commensurate with their different levels of financial support.
⦁ USGS. Sue attended two calls of the technical committee of the USGS’s Water Use Data and Research (WUDR) effort. One of these focused on FY18 grants and the other examined changes in the program for FY19. Sue noted that the WUDR group is interested in having participation from Eastern states and interstates, which are currently under-represented or not represented, in particular to explore what data are being collected for which parameters in regions outside the Western U.S. She noted that the WUDR technical committee on which she serves will be kept up to date on the stream gaging program. Sue noted that the question of whether we want to organize the stream gaging sign-on letter every year, an issue touched upon during a previous Board call, would be discussed at Estes Park.
⦁ ACWI. On July 10, the Advisory Committee on Water Information (⦁ ACWI) Subcommittee on Hydrology’s Streamflow Information Collaborative Workgroup hosted a webinar on the Western States Water Council’s (WSWC) Water Data Exchange (WaDE) project. Sue noted that the participation by members of Eastern states had been much appreciated, and that the speaker found the contributions by ICWP members generally to be very helpful.
⦁ USACE. On June 20, Sue attended a webinar to update interested parties on the USACE portion of the President’s “Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America.” The WIFIA program was discussed; however, USACE is still months away from any resource commitments; it continues to develop program rules with OMB and Congress. The USACE infrastructure team members mentioned their desire to speak to groups, and Sue recommends that they be invited to OKC in October for the Annual Meeting. Check Sue’s Update #2018-004 (June 29, 2018) for additional detail.
As reported on the June call, Sue has invited Beverly Hayes, Program Manager for USACE’s Planning Assistance to States (PAS) Program, to address ICWP in OKC. PAS received a higher appropriation in FY18 than previously, in part due to ICWP support, but $2 Million of the appropriated sum ($9 Million, compared to $5 Million in prior years) remains unsubscribed, and more and better promotion of the program is believed to be needed.
⦁ AWRA. Sue reminded everyone that AWRA’s National Leadership Institute focus during its annual conference this fall in Baltimore will be interstate planning.
⦁ Upcoming Meetings.
2018 Annual Meeting. The 2018 Annual Meeting in OKC will take place Tues.- Thurs., October 8-11. ICWP now has a contract with the Sheraton Hotel and has reserved a bus for touring on Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 9. Last year’s registration was $400, but the venue – Baltimore – was pricier than that of the meeting three years ago in Little Rock, where members were charged $300 and non-members $350 (with a bring-a-colleague deal for $200). St. Paul, like Baltimore, was $400. Following some discussion about costs, it was agreed that if we could cover the cost of a meeting for 40 people with a fee of $350, we should adjust the price accordingly.
With respect to the Annual Meeting agenda:
⦁ Water Data: Drew suggested a theme of using the data you have when the data you really want are not available for the water data panel on Thursday. It was agreed a presentation on WaDE should comprise a part but not all of a panel.
⦁ Planning: Dru offered to discuss MO’s statewide planning efforts. Sue asked WY’s Water Development Commission to discuss their watershed scale planning
⦁ Host City: Julie will ask the OKC Utilities Director to provide a talk similar to one he gave at a Western State Engineers gathering. This would be provided before the tour on Wed.
⦁ Drought readiness; drought response: Julie noted the OK has sophisticated drought monitoring. It was agreed the City of Baltimore Drought Plan that rec’d a grant from NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) program might be a good topic. Dru said drought would be a timely topic for MO, noting that if rain did not come before the meeting, he or his staff could present on working with communities on drought response.
⦁ Thursday Ending Time: It was agreed the meeting should end by noon on Thursday, and a longer break should be provided to allow folks to check out of their rooms.
2019 Annual Meeting. The 2019 Annual Meeting was tentatively planned to be held in Tuscaloosa, providing an opportunity to visit the National Water Center (NWC) on the campus of the University of Alabama. There being no flights to Tuscaloosa, however, participants would need to fly to Birmingham (generally indirectly, via Atlanta, Dallas or Charlotte) and shuttle or drive a little over an hour to the campus. The University’s “turnkey” conference planning service would be pricey at $5,000, or if Sue handled speakers and registration, $4,000. Brian noted the benefits of using the service, given that his office is located two hours from Tuscaloosa, and logistics planning will be a challenge from that distance. Drew suggested that we consider holding the main event in Birmingham and busing to Tuscaloosa as a group for the NWC visit. All liked this idea. Drew offered the services of his assistant to help Sue with logistics. Resolved: Brian and Sue with explore Birmingham as an option and report back in August.
1st Thursday Board Meetings. Our next meeting date is August 2.
⦁ Other Business. Discussion of D&O insurance was postponed.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately ten past noon Eastern, 9:10 a.m. Central.