Resolutions and Position Statements
As passed at the 2016 Annual Meeting
Dam Safety Resolution
Encourages all federal agencies that own or regulate dams to ensure that the dams are properly inspected, and that the information from these inspections is shared with the state dam safety agency to provide for better coordination of dam safety activities. If a federal agency does not have a dam inspection program, it should be required to contract with another federal agency that has a competent dam inspection program. Recognizes that many of the dams constructed in this country were constructed many years ago and have reached or will reach their maximum expected life in the next few years. Supports federal programs to rehabilitate many of the over 10,000 watershed dams constructed with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954 (Public Law 83-566) and similar programs.
Supports the efforts of the Western Governors’ Association to encourage federal agencies to develop long-term drought management plans for federal projects, in cooperation with states, and to support the state efforts to develop plans for non-federal projects. Urges the federal government to continue working with the states in the implementation of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).
Endangered Species Act
Encourages federal agencies to fulfill their obligation to consult with western state agencies in complying with their responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act, including the acquisition of valid water rights under state law to offset any water system depletions associated with federal habitat restoration activities.
Federal Payment of Adjudication and Administration Costs
Encourages Congress to enact legislation requiring federal agencies to pay their equitable share of the cost of McCarran Amendment adjudications and state administrative fees.
Funding of the USGS Cooperative Water Program and the National Streamflow Information Program
Urges Congress and the President to fully fund the National Streamflow Information Program and return funding for the Cooperative Water Program to its historic 50-50 cost-share for cooperators, and to adequately fund other data collection efforts while restoring cost efficiency. Opposes efforts by Congress to mandate that the USGS privatize data collection and data management efforts.
Resolves that federal efforts involving hydraulic fracturing, including efforts to study potential adverse impacts on water quantity and quality, should leverage state knowledge, experience, policies, and regulations. and that federal efforts to study the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water resources should be based upon sound science and driven by states. Opposes any and all efforts that would diminish the primary and exclusive authority of states over the allocation of water resources used in hydraulic fracturing.
States Water Rights and Natural Flows Along the Mainstem of the Missouri River
Supports the rights of the states to the natural flows of the Missouri River and resolves that any policy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to require storage contracts to access natural flows within a reservoir boundary would be a violation of the states’ right to develop, use, control, and distribute water. Opposes any and all efforts that would diminish the primary and exclusive authority of states over the allocation of water.
Encourages the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to continue to work cooperatively with the states to prevent the violation of state law by ensuring that those seeking the assistance of the NRCS have complied with state requirements by confirming that those seeking assistance from the NRCS provide proof of any state required authorizations before the construction of any impoundments, diversions, or facilities using waters of the state as required by law.