As Congress Heads Home For the Holidays, How Are People Preparing for Water in Congress in 2014?

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As the US Congress heads home for their holiday recess, The Water Citizen Network reviews the water issues considered during 2013, recognizes the calls by Members of Congress for greater public input on water issues, asks how people who are passionate about water (“Water Citizens”) are preparing for 2014.

Rep. Bill Shuster (L) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (R) led the first Conference Committee on the WRDA/WRRDA bill reauthorizing the Corps of Engineers water programs – and calling for greater public input.

Ask not what Congress knows about water. Ask what Water Citizens know about Congress.

The US House of Representatives adjourned on Friday, and the US Senate is likely to adjourn this week. This is the “half-way” mark for the 113th Congress – the two-year legislative period – which has been a busy one for water issues. The House and Senate have considered issues and authorizations of water-related programs such as:

  •     program reauthorization for the US Army Corps of Engineers water resources activities, including ports and harbors (and the impacts on international trade), environmental restoration of major water systems, repair and recovery activities (e.g. post-Superstorm Sandy) – and the opportunities for public input and project partnerships on these activities
  •     water and wastewater infrastructure – and how infrastructure is financed;
  •     energy and water – and how opportunities for efficiency are linked;
  •     the Farm Bill, food stamps, and the relationship between water, food and agriculture, and rural economic development international water issues such as water security, foreign aid on water and sanitation and health (WASH), and opportunities to export US water technologies
  •     maintenance of federal water data systems used by decision-makers such as local water utilities, and research programs for new understanding and new technologies related to water
  •     drinking water quality and protection of water in and so much more.

Congress Calls for Greater Public Input and Participation on Water

Throughout the year, Congress has called for input from the public – people knowledgeable about water, who can help to identify not just the problems but potential solutions – and can do so in a way that Members of Congress and their staff can digest and integrate into legislative activities.

“We need you to educate us all in what you know – and you need to hear from us what some of our concerns are and will continue to be,” said Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-32).

"You'd better know what you're talking about." Said Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ-9)

Are people ready for Water in Congress in 2014?

Cat Shrier, Founder of The Water Citizen Network, says “Ask not what Congress knows about water. Ask what Water Citizens know about Congress.”

For the FREE webinar – a SNEAK PEEK of the 2014 Keys to Water in Congress review findings and upcoming program – on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 2pm EST/1pm CST/Noon MST/11am PST – registration for the webinar is available at

For more information, see http://www.watercitizennews.

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Al Thompson
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