NWRA Table Talk Series 

Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and Water Infrastructure Development in the 116th Congress
Congressional insiders will discuss the different approaches to WRDA and their forecast for how WRDA 2020 gets passed. Key discussion items will include whether WRDA is a tool for broader infrastructure; whether there can be a Reclamation title; the opportunities within WRDA for reasonable regulatory reform; and how Congress can allocate additional project funding.

The Future of Water Infrastructure Funding
In this session, we will hear from the individuals driving efforts to fund water infrastructure. Panelists will include leading federal experts and figures from state authorities and local water districts. Speakers will discuss topics including how to get around challenges involving the Office of Management and Budget and finding innovative methods to fund water projects at the state and local levels. Panelists will provide perspectives on the various ways water projects are being successfully funded.

 Leading from the Top: Federal Perspective on Managing Critical Water Infrastructure  
In this session, we will facilitate a dialogue between the nation’s most important water management agencies. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Major General Spellmon will talk about how their agencies, in different ways, address water needs throughout the country. We will also cover the similarities and differences between the agencies and the critical issues they are facing.

 Historic Preservation, Cultural Resources, and Infrastructure Development
Experts on cultural resources and historic preservation will discuss the laws that create challenges for water providers, how to navigate them, and the legislative steps that might help make the process easier. Water managers who have navigated this process will also weigh in.

 The Evolving Legal World of Water
This panel is a must for all water leaders. Recent court decisions, including the Supreme Court decision in Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund and the Baley vs. United States decision (Klamath takings) as well as the 9th Circuit decision in Glaser have major ramifications for water managers. Couple this with the new Navigable Waters Protection Rule and numerous state-level efforts to define “waters of the state,” and water leaders are left facing a legal minefield. Legal experts and water managers will help bring clarity to the new, and increasingly complex, world of water law in light of these evolving issues.   

Western Water Table Talk Capstone Session: Infrastructure Efforts Moving Forward
This engaging discussion will focus on empowering water users to effect beneficial change at the local, state, and federal levels. The session will review the Western Water Table Talk Series and provide tools that participants can use to advocate for polices that will benefit water users and help our nation build a strong water future.