2017 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.
Chris Treese testified at the senate energy committee
The vice-chair of our Federal Affairs committee, Chris Trees, was invited by Senator Lisa Murkowski to testify before the Senate Energy Committee on Tuesday, March 21 at 10amET. Chris was invited to testify on behalf of National Water Resources Association (NWRA) and the Family Farm Alliance.
The purpose of the hearing was receive testimony on opportunities to improve and expand infrastructure important to federal lands, recreation, water, and resources.
Click here to watch the hearing.
Click here to access a copy of Chris's testimony, which primarily focuses on the Bureau of Reclamation, with a portion devoted to funding of the Army Corps.
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.
Water Resource Development
S. 2848, the Water Resources Development Act, as passed by the Senate, provides funding for drinking water infrastructure programs, including $220 million to support repair of the lead-tainted drinking water system in Flint, Michigan.
Specifically, the Senate version of WRDA is important to Colorado because it contains the following provisions:
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.
H.R. 1654 the Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act, which passed the House on June 22, 2017,
Water Conservation rebate