Policy Brief, Webinar Address Need for Coordination Between Nation’s Water Agencies

Posted: October 31, 2013

“Coordinating U.S. Water Policy” is the topic of a policy brief issued this month by the National Agricultural and Rural Development Policy Center (NARDeP). The two-page brief explores the challenges facing U.S. water policy and the countless agencies that govern it.

“The vast number of agencies responsible for managing our nation’s water supply has resulted in a highly fragmented governing system, in which state and federal agencies are pursuing separate and sometimes competing water goals,” said Adam Reimer, a NARDeP postdoctoral fellow based at Michigan State University and author of the brief. “At the same time, the challenges these agencies face necessitate more and more inter-agency collaboration and coordination.”

The brief examines the tools that agencies can use to facilitate inter-agency collaboration, and also makes a case for future consolidation and realignment of the institutions responsible for managing water systems.

“While a complete realignment of the national water governing system would certainly provide an opportunity for more efficient and productive governing, it also would be difficult and time-consuming to implement,” explained Reimer. “In the short term, existing water agencies must continue to explore new avenues for collaboration.”

Reimer will be discussing potential avenues for improved coordination between federal, state, and local agencies, as well as other challenges facing the U.S. water system, during a free webinar on November 13, 2013. More information about the NARDeP-sponsored webinar is available here.

“Coordinating U.S. Water Policy” is the latest in a series of NARDeP policy briefs that explore the increasingly contentious and complex agricultural and rural development issues facing the US, and is available online at the NARDeP website, along with all the briefs in the series.

NARDeP was organized in 2012 by the four US Regional Rural Development Centers and is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) under a competitive grant (Number 2012-70002-19385). A virtual center based at Penn State University, it engages land-grant universities as well as national organizations, agencies, and experts to develop and deliver timely policy-relevant information around signature areas identified by its advisory boards. Visit the NARDeP website for more information.