National Water Commission Testimony

Testimony of Dr. Peter H. Gleick
Before the Legislative Hearing of the
Subcommittee on Water and Power
Of the Committee on Resources
United States Congress

On the Need for a National Water Commission for the 21st Century
April 1, 2003

Mr. Chairman, Representatives: thank you for inviting me to offer comments on the need for a National Water Commission for the 21st Century. I believe there is indeed need for such a Commission, and on March 10, 2003, the Pacific Institute called for its creation in a letter to the President and members of Congress. I have attached for the record a copy of that letter (Attachment 1).

The United States has not had a national water commission in place for 30 years, since the 1968 National Water Commission reported to the President and Congress in 1973. Moreover, we have never had a national water commission with the authority and responsibility to review and recommend on the role of the U.S. in addressing international water issues. My comments today will address the idea of a Commission generally, with some detailed recommendations. I will also provide specific comments on H.R. 135, a bill proposed to establish such a Commission. In short, the idea of such a Commission is an excellent one; but I believe the Findings and Duties as described in H.R. 135 need clarification and revision if the Commission is to adequately deal with the water challenges facing us. […]

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