2016 Federal Water Legislation
Part of the Water Congress role as the principal voice of Colorado's water community is to stay on top of federal issues and legislation that may affect Colorado and are important to our members.
We accomplish this in large part through our active membership in the National Water Resource Association (NWRA), a federation of state water organizations concerned with appropriate management, conservation and use of water resources. The Water Congress Federal Affairs Committee works closely with NWRA, enabling us to provide our members greater access to federal water actions and breaking news that may impact our state. Federal legislation that CWC currently supports is below.
Federal Legislation CWC Supports
H.R. 695, the Healthy Forest Management and Wildfire Prevention Act is designed to protect against the bark beetle epidemic, drought, deteriorating forest conditions, and high risk of wildfires on USFS land under BLM jurisdiction.
H.R. 2647 the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 which could expedite under the National Environmental Policy Act and improve forest management activities in regions of the National Forest System derived from the public domain, on public lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, and on tribal lands to return resilience to overgrown, fire-prone forested lands, etc.
Waters of the U.S.
S. 1140 is drafted to to revise the definition of the term “waters of the United States”, defined in the Federal Register in April 2014. The bill also provides an explanation of the hydrologic cycle that is crucial to Colorado's prior appropriation system.
S. 1036, the Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act allows states to create and implement state-specific conservation and management plans that will protect and restore the sage grouse in lieu of listing under the Endangered Species Act.
Ski Area Water Rights
H.R. 1830, the Water Rights Protection Act was introduced to protect Colorado's ski area's water rights. Safeguarding privately held water rights is a top priority for the Colorado Water Congress and is vital to the western economy and culture.