Today at 2:00 PM EDT (11:00 AM PDT, including Arizona), Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Arkansas) will host a forum on the link between the Western drought and inflationary grocery and energy prices.
The forum will be streamed live here on the committee’s YouTube channel.
Alliance executive director Dan Keppen will testify, along with other witnesses who are also Alliance members, including Paul Arrington (Idaho Water Users Association), Mike Britton (North Unit Irrigation District), Bill Diedrich (California Farm Water Coalition), and Todd Manley (Northern California Water Association), among others.
“We commend the Ranking Member Westerman for pulling together a forum similar to the one he hosted a year ago, where testimony was gathered to assess the negative economic impact of the drought on farms,” said Mr. Keppen.
A memorandum issued to Republican members before the forum states that “a year later, western drought conditions have not generally improved and in some cases, are significantly worse.” More than 98% of the Southwest is in drought, reservoirs are at critically low levels, and farmers face dire challenges.
Mr. Keppen’s 12-page testimony can be found HERE, where he highlights the impact poor water policies are having on consumers. He describes the Alliance’s fifteen-year-long advocacy for improved water policy, calls that have generally gone unheeded.
Mr. Keppen’s written testimony also shares the story behind the recent farmer-funded Wall Street Journal full-page ad and accompanying social media ad campaign. This initiative is attracting views from the general public to a coalition-run landing page providing the farm perspective on the drought’s consequences and proposed solutions.
His testimony concludes with a charge to federal officials to “protect and enhance” agricultural production in the West as an issue of national security, as “an irreplaceable, strategic national resource that is vital to U.S. food security, the ecosystem, and overall drought resistance.”
For more information on the forum CLICK HERE.