Federal Policy

OWRC 2017 Federal Priorities

Federal Budget & Appropriations

  • Support funding for key agencies/programs, including:
    • S. Bureau of Reclamation (WaterSMART grants, Drought assistance)
    • S. Geological Survey (Streamgaging and other data collection)
    • S. Dept. of Agriculture (Natural Resources Conservation Service grants)
    • S. Environmental Protection Agency (Clean Water Revolving Fund)
    • S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) (State water planning assistance)
    • S. Fish and Wildlife (Fisheries Restoration and Irrigation Mitigation Act (FRIMA))

 Drought, Water Supply & Infrastructure

  • Support funding to address drought related impacts to water supply including repair, or replacement of storage and delivery facilities, particularly aging infrastructure
    • Engage in and support development of legislation addressing drought
    • Encourage investment in locally driven water supply planning and development, including above, below and off-stream projects

 Clean Water Act Regulation

  • Support regulatory streamlining to reduce burden upon districts and ag water users
  • Oppose expansion of federal jurisdiction and/or new regulations that threaten districts’ ability to deliver water

 Endangered Species Act & Critical Habitat

  • Support collaborative, voluntary tools to assist in species management
  • Support practical policies and regulatory reform

 Fish Passage and Fish Screens

  • Develop and support funding for fish screen and fish passage restoration efforts
  • Support appropriations for the recently reauthorized FRIMA program

Qualified Conduit Hydropower

  • Support regulatory streamlining for qualified conduit hydropower projects
  • Develop and promote incentives for environmentally beneficial hydropower projects
  • Monitor and engage in discussions on Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA); Lease of Power Privilege (LOPP), wheeling, interconnection issues.

Watershed Planning

  • Support/protect state sovereignty over water resources and leadership in water planning
  • Support funding for state/local watershed planning efforts
    • Oregon’s robust state watershed planning program is a model for voluntary, collaborative, locally-driven watershed solutions
    • Monitor Columbia River Treaty and engage in regional discussions as needed
  • Support funding for additional research on water related resources management

Other Regulatory and Policy Issues

  • Monitor and engage in discussions on new Farm Bill, implementation of new Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA), and 2013 Hydropower legislation
  • Monitor and engage in proposed changes to the Reclamation Manual (D&S)
  • Monitor work on Principles, Guidelines and Requirements for Federal water programs
  • Monitor Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules related to agricultural water quality
  • Monitor the White House and Council on Environmental Quality initiatives related to water

Key Strategies & Alliances:

  • Continue to submit testimony, comments, and white papers on key issues
  • Strengthen relationships with key federal agencies
  • Strengthen relationships with Congressional delegation and staff (DC and local)
  • Increase involvement with Family Farm Alliance and other partner organizations
  • Actively seek and promote collaborative and cooperative partnerships
  • Engage in public/private investment efforts

OWRC 2017 Federal Program Overview