Federal Policy

OWRC 2020 Federal Program Priorities 

Federal Budget & Appropriations

  • Support funding for key agencies/programs, including: 
    • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (WaterSMART grants, Drought assistance)
    • U.S. Geological Survey (Streamgaging and other data collection)
    • U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (Natural Resources Conservation Service grant programs, PL-566)
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund)
    • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (State water planning assistance)
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife (Fisheries Restoration and Irrigation Mitigation Act (FRIMA))

 Water Supply & Infrastructure

  • Encourage investment in locally driven water supply planning and development, including new above- and below-ground, and off-stream storage projects
  • Support funding for rehabilitation of aging storage and water delivery infrastructure
  • Support funding and technical assistance for collaborative drought planning and mitigation efforts, including emergency and long-term strategies for meeting multi-purpose water supply needs
  • Support funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation related to impacts to water supply
  • Support funding for wildfire prevention, protecting water supply and infrastructure on federal lands
  • Support funding for prevention and remediation of invasive aquatic species (inspection, education, etc.)

 Federal Regulation Engagement

  • 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
  • Support collaborative, voluntary tools to assist in species management
  • Support practical policies and common-sense reforms to federal regulations impacting water delivery (Clean Water Act, National Environmental Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, etc.)

 Funding for Fish Passage and Fish Screens    

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

Qualified Conduit Hydropower

  • 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
    • Monitor Columbia River Treaty, Columbia River Operations EIS, & engage in related regional discussions as appropriate
  • Support funding for state/local watershed planning efforts
    • Emphasize importance of voluntary, collaborative, locally-driven watershed solutions rather than top-down approaches; highlight Oregon’s watershed planning program as model
  • Support funding for additional research on water related resources management

 Other Regulatory and Policy Issues

  • Monitor and engage in discussions on implementation of the Farm Bill; development of new Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA)
  • Monitor and engage in proposed changes to the Reclamation Manual (D&S)
  • Monitor Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules related to agricultural water quality
  • Monitor Federal Government Agency Reorganization Efforts

Key Strategies & Alliances:

  • Continue to submit testimony, comments, and white papers on key issues
  • Strengthen relationships with key federal agencies and increase engagement on various advisory boards
  • Strengthen relationships with Congressional delegation and staff (DC and local)
  • Continue strong involvement with Family Farm Alliance, National Water Resources Association (NWRA) & other partner organizations at the national and regional level
  • Actively seek and promote collaborative and cooperative partnerships
  • Engage in public/private investment efforts; support private investment with adequate safeguards to protect public infrastructure