Feb 23, 2021 | Blog

Conference Highlights + Water Infrastructure

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Thanks to all who participated in this year's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" Virtual Conference! While we missed the opportunity to see everyone in person, going virtual allowed the participation of Members of Congress, agency officials, and Capitol Hill staff who are usually more difficult to catch at our tried-and-true Reno conference location during "non-pandemic" times.

In this update, we wanted to catch you up on the latest developments surrounding water infrastructure as well as share Alliance news coverage from the last week.
HEARING LITMUS TEST: E&E News reported Monday that the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will meet Wednesday for a "Build Back Better" hearing to review the Biden Administration's proposal for infrastructure, clean energy, and stimulus funding. The E&E story (subscription only) shares how the committee hearing will offer key insight on how willing both parties will be to come together on a bipartisan package later this Summer. See hearing agenda here.

WATER'S IN THE MIX: Meanwhile in the House, a key infrastructure subcommittee led by Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) will tackle water infrastructure today with testimony offered by labor, utilities, tribal and rural communities. See hearing page for details. The E&E story (subscription) quotes a statement by Chairwoman Napolitano that the hearing's focus will be on "the urgent water challenges communities face with having clean and affordable water services." The subcommittee will consider both legislative and agency-led initiatives to support the backlog in infrastructure projects and long list of needs in rural communities.

AND DON'T FORGET THE FORESTS: Senator Michael Bennet's (D-CO) words on water infrastructure to our conference were picked up by Capital Press in this article, where the 2nd term senator touted his Outdoor Restoration Force Act as promoting investment in forest management and watershed restoration, saying that "we have to treat America's landscape as essential infrastructure."
Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) [participating by audio] spoke to the Alliance Conference on their intention to work together to support water infrastructure funding in the 117th Congress. Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen also pictured.

CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS: As sited above, the Capital Press covered our conference well in this article that not only highlighted Senator Bennet's remarks but also key takeaways as well. We chronicled some of the highlights on our Facebook and Instagram pages. If you don't follow us there, you should! 

BIDEN & THE WEST: California Ag Today sat down with Dan Keppen for an early take on what family farmers should expect during the Biden Administration. Dan discusses climate change, infrastructure needs, and the opportunities for bipartisanship in the coming Congress. Read the full story here
If you've wondered what a virtual conference looks like from the host's point of view...
If you're not a member, join us!
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