Last Friday I was very excited to join my colleagues in announcing the formation of the Congressional Water Caucus.  Water issues such as supply, storage and quality are critical to American's day to day lives.  I believe these issues will become increasingly vital in future years as more droughts begin to emerge throughout the country and water demands continue to rise.  As the former Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Water and Power, I was engaged in many efforts to find common sense solutions to our nation's water problems.

The Water Caucus will work to advance solutions to our nation's water needs as well educate our colleagues on water.  Together, the caucus developed the "Twelve Principles of Water Policy," which will help guide our caucus as we tackle important water issues facing our nation.

The formation of this caucus is good news for Americans who rely on clean, affordable water and I am proud to be a co-chairman.

The Twelve Principles of Water Policy:

  • Ensure an adequate supply of fresh water for U.S. citizens, securing a sufficient water supply for both urban and rural areas;

  • Consider all available technologies for increasing water supply efficiently, while safeguarding the environment, including the use of best management practices;

  • Recommend a means of capturing and storing excess water for future droughts;

  • Implement strategies to improve water use efficiencies and reduce water waste;

  • Support adequate funding to implement water re-use strategies wherever appropriate;

  • Advocate the coordination of efforts by Congress, the President, and state and local government to solve water issues;

  • Consolidate and streamline efforts between local, state, and Federal government agencies to reduce the bureaucratic red tape many local communities face when trying to build water reservoirs and other infrastructure needs;

  • Protect the rights of state and local governments;

  • Suggest financing options for new public works water projects;

  • Encourage Federal assistance to state and local governments to identify potential groundwater banking as part of sustainable water supplies;

  • Recognize international implications for water resources shared with other nations;

  • Collect and share data related to water use and water quality to determine effectiveness of policy.