Rep. Gosar Vows to Protect State Water Rights, Block Groundwater Directive 2.0

Rep. Gosar Vows to Protect State Water Rights, Block Groundwater Directive 2.0

(Congressman Gosar met with several Arizona members of the National Water Resources Association and the Agribusiness & Water Council of Arizona after Wednesday’s Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee hearing.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after participating in a House Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee titled, “Empowering States and Western Water Users Through Regulatory and Administrative Reforms” examining the growth of pervasive federal regulations over water resources:

“For centuries, western states have fought over scarce water supplies. This scarcity led our visionary forefathers to build federal water storage projects throughout to provide water, hydropower, recreation, flood control and environmental benefits while adhering to state water rights. For generations, these projects provided benefits to a growing society, but what the federal government helped give, it has been taking away. The Obama Administration is only speeding up this erosion in its waning days and doing so under the cover of darkness.

“Thankfully, last year the Forest Service withdrew its poorly written and fundamentally flawed Groundwater Directive but just like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator…it’s back.  Only this time, it’s being done under much more hidden circumstances–as recently uncovered by the Western Governors Association. We must put this and any other attempted federal water grab in its grave once and for all.”

Background

On April 14, 2015, U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon announced the decision to permanently withdraw the Proposed Directive on Groundwater Management (Groundwater Directive). Click HERE to read more.

The Groundwater Directive sought to initiate the Forest Service’s authority over state-managed groundwater resources claiming that surface water and groundwater is “hydraulically interconnected” and that the agency could object to state-regulated projects on “adjacent” land that purportedly harm groundwater.

Congressman Gosar and 42 lawmakers previously sent a letter on June 24, 2014, to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warning that the U.S. Forest Service’s recently proposed Groundwater Resource Management Directive will restrict access to public lands and interfere with state and private water rights. They also urged withdrawing the directive at that time. That letter can be found HERE.

Robert Lynch, a Phoenix based attorney specializing in federal water litigation, testified as a witness in Wednesday’s Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee hearing. Rep. Gosar had the privilege of introducing Mr. Lynch. Click HERE to read Bob’s testimony.

Source: Congressman Paul A. Gosar

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith (at) mail.house (dot) gov

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