Save the Date!

ICWP’s 2018 Annual Meeting will be held October 9-11 in Oklahoma City—Please get these dates in your calendar!!

Roundtable 2018 Joint Meeting Summary

Joint Interstate Council on Water Policy (ICWP) and Western States Water Council Roundtable Meetings Summary

Washington DC March 14-16, 2018 Crystal City Gateway Marriott

The following is an excerpt from the WSWC summary of the meetings.  Scroll down for Sue Lowry’s (ICWP’s Executive Director) additional views on the highlights of the presentations:

On March 14, in conjunction with the Interstate Council on Water Policy (ICWP), the WSWC hosted a Water Planners Conference, followed by a Roundtable on March 15, that brought together nearly 100 state and federal agency representatives (and private sector participants) with stewardship over water to address current challenges related to data and information management, groundwater management, water supply and emergency management, including floods and drought, landscape conservation on a watershed level, reservoir operations and infrastructure needs, as well as farm policy and agricultural water uses. 

        Federal agency participants came from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and Interior, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Atmospheric and Space Administration (NASA).  Respectively, myriad agencies were represented, including the Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and its National Water and Climate Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Climate Prediction Center, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Weather Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Energy, Installations and Environment), Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.

         Among the notable officials were: Tim Petty, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science; Brenda Burman, Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation; William Werkheiser, Acting Director, U.S. Geological Survey; Ryan Fisher, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works); Edward Belk, Chief of Civil Works Programs Integration, Army Corps of Engineers; Craig McLean, Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research; Mary Erickson, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Weather Services; Michael Freilich, Director of the Earth Science Division, NASA; and David Ross, EPA Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.

         A panel discussion on water-related legislation was also held on Capitol Hill in the House Rayburn Building with majority and minority representation from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, House Natural Resources Committee, and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  A reception followed for Congressional staff with state water managers.


Sue’s Reflection on the Presentation Highlights:

A couple of items have stuck in my mind in this next week after the Roundtable.  Chris Carlson from the US Forest Service observed that by 2020, two-thirds of the USFS budget will be spent on fighting wildfires.  Just a few years ago, 2/3 of the budget was dedicated to resource management.  This shift has meant the reduction of many professional scientists, such as hydrologists, within the Forest Service.  Without securing another method of fighting fires on our public lands, the ability of the Forest Service to focus on water management issues will likely diminish.  And this in a time when the predictions are for longer and more severe fire seasons.

During the Corps of Engineers (CoE) presentation, they reflected upon the ASCE Infrastructure grades given to:  Levees—D; Ports—C+; Dams—D; and Inland Water Ways—D.  We simply must find other mechanisms for funding the maintenance and rehabilitation of this important infrastructure.  Many presenters mentioned Public-Private Partnerships as the future to these huge funding deficits, but there appeared to be a dearth of concrete examples of successful PPP projects.

One of the many great aspects of these Roundtable meetings is the opportunity to hear from both representatives of the science/research side, as well as the political appointees who must make the difficult prioritization and funding decisions.  We heard from researchers within NOAA and NASA and many of the climate and weather forecasting and modeling efforts are reaching the stage of dependability where they can be integrated into water resource management decisions.  Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations is one of these exciting areas. We plan to present more on this topic at the ICWP Annual meeting this fall in Oklahoma City.

During the re-cap, Julie Cunningham and Jerry Rigby reflected on the good working relationship between WSWC and ICWP and by combining our Washington DC meeting we are able to attract top officials from a wide variety of federal and congressional entities.


If you have any questions, feel free to email Sue at


New Executive Director

Good morning ICWP members!

This is my first post as the new Executive Director for ICWP and I am excited to be aboard!  I served on the Board of Directors for many years during my career in Interstate River Basin Compact Compliance at the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office.  It’s a great time to start this new position as ICWP’s annual Washington DC Roundtable is next week.  Our stand alone ICWP meeting (the rest of the meeting will be held jointly with the Western States Water Council) on Wednesday, March 14 will provide time to review my contract workplan and set the priorities and agenda for ICWP for the 2018 and beyond.  It’s not too late to register and I look forward to seeing everyone in Washington DC next week!


Meeting Summary from Washington DC Roundtable, March 14-16, 2018

Please click here to view Roundtable 2018 ICWP meeting summary »

Join the ICWP and Western States Water Council in our Nation’s capital for our joint Washington, D.C. Roundtable and Water Planner’s Conference, March 14-15, 2018 in Arlington, VA. This year the organizations will hold concurrent committee meetings then join up to hear perspectives from national leaders on water resources planning and discuss current water policy and federal funding topics with key federal agency representatives and Congressional committee staff. A panel discussion and evening reception on the Hill is being planned for March 15th and participants will have an opportunity to visit agency and Congressional offices on March 16th .

Meeting registration and payment options are available via this link to the Western States Water Council website.  Full conference or one-day registrations are available and special discounts apply for early-bird registration by February 13, 2018 and “bring a colleague” registrations.   Guest room accommodations have been reserved at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, located at 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202.  A group room block is held in the name of the Western States Water Council (WSWC), and guest room rates are $253.00, single or double occupancy.  Make reservations by using their online group reservations system or you may call Marriott’s Reservations toll free number: 1-800-228-9290, by February 13, 2018.  Any reservations requested after this cut-off date shall be accepted at the hotel’s then current available rate.

We hope you will make plans to join us in Washington, D.C., in March.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Julie Cunningham, Chairman
Interstate Council on Water Policy
Executive Director, Oklahoma Water Resources Board

REGISTRATION:  You can register for this event by clicking here.

GUEST ROOM ACCOMMODATIONS:  The Crystal Gateway Marriott is located at 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202. A group room block is held in the name of the Western States Water Council (WSWC), and guest room rates are $253.00, single or double occupancy.

Check-in after 4:00 p.m. on the day of arrival.
Check-out time is 12:00 p.m. on the day of departure.

RESERVATION METHOD:   The hotel recommends using their online group reservations system powered by Passkey to make web-based reservations.  Reservations may be made, modified, or cancelled by attendees.  Alternatively, you may call Marriott’s Reservations toll free number – 1-800-228-9290, and be sure to mention the Western States Water Council block.  Any reservations requested after the cut-off shall be accepted at the hotel’s then current available rate.

CUT-OFF DATEFebruary 13, 2018.  After this cut-off date, rooms can be reserved on a space available basis.


To Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

  • Shuttle – Airport shuttle service, scheduled, complimentary.
    Shuttle Phone: 1-703-920-3230.
  • DC Metro – Take the Yellow Line to Fort Totten and exit at the Crystal City Metro station.  An interior corridor connects to the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel.  Cost: $2.00-$3.00, per person, one-way. DC Metro fare is subject to change.
  • Taxi – Taxis are available outside airport terminals. The Crystal Gateway Marriott is located approximately 1 mile from the airport.  Cost: about $10 one-way.


  • The hotel provides convenient valet and self-service parking for guests and visitors. On-site parking fee: $15 hourly, $29 daily.
  • Valet parking fee: $34 daily.

ICWP names Sue Lowry as new Executive Director

The Interstate Council on Water Policy (ICWP) has selected Sue Lowry to be the next
Executive Director of the organization. “Sue served for many years on the Board of
Directors of the ICWP during her career at the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office. Her
familiarity with the ICWP and our issues will be a tremendous asset”, said Julie
Cunningham, Director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and current Chair of
the ICWP.

“The ICWP fills an important niche for its member states and interstate organizations to
network, communicate on current water topics and be able to effectuate change on
water policy matters. I am looking forward to this new role with the organization and to
once again be affiliated with the ICWP”, said Lowry.

The ICWP was founded in 1959 to promote integrated water resources management and
to engage in water resource and water quality issues. Its members consist of water
resource management agencies, interstate river basin commissions and other water
resource management entities from across the U.S.

Lowry retired as the Administrator of the Interstate Streams Division of the Wyoming
State Engineer’s Office in June, 2016. Upon retirement, she founded Avocet Consult,
LLC to continue to work in the water resources management field. She will manage her
ICWP Executive Director duties from her office in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Congrats to USGS Leadership

We’re so eager to meet with you and compare strategic plans with USGS on 22March at the ICWP Water Planners Conference!

USGS Leadership Progress

Big News from the USGS is that Don Cline has accepted the Associate Director of Water position, as Bill Werkheiser moves into the USGS Deputy Director position. Don’s appointment is a little unusual, as he comes in from outside USGS and the inside candidates were so strong, but it looks like a great addition to their Senior Leadership for water data and science. Kudos to Acting Director Kimball!

DC Roundtable 2016 -SAVE THE DATE!

We are planning the DC Roundtable for the 21-24 March 2016, to include a Planners Seminar, the Roundtable with federal agency leaders, a strategy discussion with Congressional committee staff and a discussion with USGS/Water leadership. SAVE THE DATES & RESERVE YOUR HOTEL ROOM SOON!

Mississippi River Watershed Assessment

From St Louis
A group of Mississippi River basin stakeholders met last week to unveil their new, basin-wide Report Card for discussion about how to promote the strongest follow-up action plan.
Dru Buntin and Sue Lowry have been active in the steering committee, and TNC has been a strong organizing force. The indicators they developed are very comprehensive and useful in building support and funding for implementation. This Report Card seems like a great step forward for a huge watershed.

USGS Water Leader Appointment

From Washington, DC
While we were in Little Rock, studying the development strategies for water use data, groundwater and drought plans, the USGS was recruiting new leadership for their Water Mission. Acting Director Kimball and Deputy Director Werkheiser got the results from the interview team they appointed, and invited me to help interview the top 3 candidates. Since Bill Werkheiser has accepted the Deputy appointment, the Associate Director position he is leaving will need immediate attention, and it is very satisfying to be able to report to you that they have very strong candidates who represent a bright future (even though Eric and Pixie Hamilton are retiring this year).
Acting Director Suzette Kimball is preparing for her second Senate confirmation hearing (later this month?) and hoping to choose Bill’s replacement by the end of October. STAY TUNED!!