Congress has established a water caucus to encourage discussion of water-related issues and provide timely, scientific information about water resources and use.
Beth Casteel, communications manager for the Irrigation Association, says the organization began promoting the idea for the water caucus about two years ago when Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., expressed his desire to establish a water caucus after the Irrigation Show. “We thought it was a great idea because water issues are so spread out over different committees and agencies,” Casteel says. “It’s something we’ve really advocated for the past couple of years.” According to the Irrigation Association, Congress has created more than 200 caucuses covering a range of issues, but this caucus is the first to address water concerns.
Co-chairs for the caucus include Rep. John Linder, R-Ga.; Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif.; Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich.; Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Calif.; and Rep. George Radanovich, R-Calif. These lawmakers created “Twelve Principles of Water Policy,” including ensuring sufficient water supply for urban and rural areas; considering all available technologies for maximizing the water supply while protecting the environment; and implementing strategies to improve efficiencies.