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Water Planning Committee Meeting Summary February 3, 2020 Conference Call–Chuck Chaitovitz, US Chamber of Commerce

  1. Call to Order—Chair Jennifer Hoggatt-Missouri DNR called to order at 10:03 a.m. Central. 
  • Introduction of Participants on the call:  Jennifer Hoggatt, Sue Lowry, Amy Shallcross, Brian Atkins, Kristina Peacock-Jones, Mark Matlock, Matt Unruh, Ed Swaim, Mabel Jones, Jennifer Schellpeper. 
  •  Presentation: Chuck Chaitovitz, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Vice-president for environmental affairs and sustainability

Businesses have interest in reducing their risk.  Chuck’s work focuses upon the risks related to water, environment and climate, primarily through FEMA programs.  The Stafford Act dictates the way that disaster funds are distributed.  Recently Congress authorized an added 6% set aside for post-disaster planning. The US Chamber is working with FEMA, insurance companies and first responders on how these funds should be utilized.  Chuck is helping host stakeholder meetings across the country on topics such as wildfire (Sacramento on March 5) and flooding (Houston, date TBD). Connecting state emergency agencies with water planning efforts is an area that the US Chamber and ICWP could work on together. Chuck also mentioned the US Chamber’s support for the  Resilience Revolving Loan Fund Act which mirrors the existing State Revolving Funds to provide low-interest loans for pre-disaster projects (drought, flood, wildfire, etc.). A coalition letter is currently being circulated asking House of Representative’s leadership to add this bill (HR3779) to the consent calendar.  Chuck will send the coalition letter to Sue and she will see if the Board will support ICWP adding on to the coalition of supporting organizations.  

  • Update from All-committee webinar on January 8, 2020
    • PAS top ranking topic for this committee
    • Drought recognized as cross cutting issue for all committees
  • Develop 2020 workplan and identify 1-3 Principle Statements topics—Jennifer will draft sample principle statements for the next call. Jennifer mentioned that both water quality and infrastructure were high ranking topics in the priorities survey and that the Water Planning committee could be a good place for working on these topics.  HABs in particular and how they have been discussed by state water plans could be a topic to address this year.  Kansas’ experience will be tapped for others to learn from as their reservoirs are facing significant water quality issues.  As planning can and should have a long range horizon, Jennifer mentioned that the workplan for this committee could look beyond one year to 3-5 years out. 
  • Internship Project ideas—no intern applications were received this year. 
  • Relevant activities from other ICWP committees:
    • Infrastructure/WRDA2020 comments from L & P sent to House Transportation and Infrastructure committee. 
  • Topics and speakers for future water planning learning opportunities
    • Kansas Water Office has offered to present
    • Jennifer mentioned Larry Weber from the University of Iowa—he spoke at Mobile on flooding, but has also done drought work that would be of interest to the committee
    • Kristina mentioned that in PA they are updating both their Drought and State water plans. 
  • Next call or webinar—set for March 2 at 10 a.m. Central time and either Kelly Smith or Cody Knutson from the National Drought Mitigation Center will be speaking about their state planning/state climatologist resources. 

Water Planning Committee:  Provide a forum of the exchange of ideas and concepts related to state and regional water planning. 

2019 Accomplishments:

  • Webinars from state planning efforts, including MN, MO, WY and Nebraska
  • Contributed Planning topics/speakers for Annual Meeting and Washington DC Roundtable

Issues for 2020 Workplan

  1. Continue with Webinar presentations from individual states on their water planning programs
  2. Support for PAS, including cost share change in WRDA letter
  3. Water Quality and Infrastructure—how ICWP might integrate these topics with our main mission topic areas
  4. Revolutionize CW Listening Session at 2020 Washington Roundtable