Democratic News

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici and Ranking Member Jeff Bingaman issued a broad call today for proposals to address the challenge of meeting the nation’s ever increasing demand for water. The two senators announced a half-day conference on water to be held April 5 at 2:15 p.m. in Hart 216. Senators Domenici and Bingaman invite industry, government, public interest groups, academia and private citizens to submit written proposal to the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee. The proposals should address one or all of six questions that frame the nation’s most pressing water challenges. Chairman Domenici’s statement: "Two years ago, when I became chairman of this committee, I identified water legislation as one of my top three priorities. I have been pleased to send comprehensive water proposals from this committee to the Senate for passage. Both CalFed and the Gila River Indian water settlement have been approved by Congress and signed into law. "But I am still deeply concerned at the remaining challenges, particularly in the West. This conference takes a broad look at those challenges and invites bold and innovative solutions. This conference, like the two conferences before it, will help my committee craft meaningful legislation." Senator Bingaman’s statement: "Congress needs to play a stronger role in crafting appropriate strategies to address water resources issues and to identify areas where federal resources should be targeted. This conference will advance our ability to do that and will help us develop appropriate additional legislation." To be considered, the proposals must be received electronically by March 9 at noon EST. The committee is issuing guidelines to focus proposals on key topics. The guidelines, which include the six questions to be answered, can be found on the committee website at The proposals will be reviewed by committee staff and the most promising ideas will be discussed at the half-day conference scheduled to run from 1 p.m .to 5 p.m. The proposals can include proposed legislative language. Staff contacts for the conference are Kellie Donnelly, Nate Gentry, Patty Beneke, and Michael Connor. Electronic inquiries should be sent to Water_Conference@Energy.Senate.Gov.