Keppen To Testify Before House Natural Resources WO Subcommittee On Drought

Watch House Hearing on Drought
Tue, May 25, 1PM ET

As drought conditions worsen across the West, the Family Farm Alliance is encouraged that congressional leaders are taking notice. Tomorrow at 1:00 PM ET, the Alliance will testify for the second time this year before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife on “Oversight: The Status of Drought Conditions Throughout the Western United States.”

You can watch the virtual, remote hearing live on YouTube at this link.

In an article about tomorrow’s hearing, E&E wrote that “the committee will discuss the role of climate change in the worsening drought, as well as near- and long-term solutions.”

Alliance executive director Dan Keppen will testify as the Republican witness on behalf of Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-OR). The Alliance testimony can be accessed here. The Alliance testimony addresses both the macro-consequences of drought while also honing in on seven specific Western regions and the challenges faced in each.

“It is clear that water users in nearly every region of the West are scrambling, looking for creative ways to stretch scant water supplies,” the Alliance testimony states.

In written testimony, the Alliance puts forward solutions to prevent future drought. Water infrastructure investment is needed, the Alliance argues, in addition to allowing increased flexibility for water management by locality. The testimony advocates for improved forest management to promote the health of the watershed. It also emphasizes that collaboration across interest groups is needed over confrontation.

Addressing the drought, Subcommittee Chairman Jared Huffman (D-CA) said in a statement, “We cannot keep lurching from one crisis to the next, and it’s become abundantly clear that we must build resilient systems that work for everyone.”

Hearing witnesses include:

  • Elizabeth Klein, senior counselor to the Interior secretary.
  • Craig McLean, NOAA acting chief scientist.
  • Joaquin Esquivel, California State Water Resources Control Board chair.
  • Amy Cordalis, counsel for the Yurok Tribe and principal for the Ridges to Riffles Conservation Fund.
  • John Entsminger, Southern Nevada Water Authority general manager.
  • Michael Markus, Orange County Water District general manager.
  • Tom Collishaw, Self-Help Enterprises CEO.
  • Dan Keppen, Family Farm Alliance executive director.
  • Craig Foss, Idaho state forester.

“We applaud Chairman Huffman for scheduling this important hearing and thank Ranking Member Bentz for the invitation to deliver testimony,” said Mr. Keppen. “We look forward to working with the Subcommittee, Congress, and the Biden Administration on needed solutions.”

We will continue to keep you informed on this and other developments impacting Western irrigated agriculture.
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