Water issues will be of extreme importance in the rest of this century in the US. In particular as geologic acquifers are exhausted and fresh water becomes unavailable for agriculture and other uses expect a frenzy of intra-state and inter-state water warfare to break out. Just talk to the Mayor’s of Atlanta and Charlottee. Or the Mayors of states like Arizona or California. CHINATOWN with Jack Nicholson still a favorite movie.
Oddly there are two basic systems of water law in the US. Although largely an issue of STATE rather than Federal Law, the FEDS do a nice job of confusing the issues with their efforts. Even as this post is written a brutal infight over potable water availability in any domestic crisis is going on in the Executive Branch. For a past outcome review water issues somewhat addressed by Executive Order 12656 now under active revision in the Executive Branch.
Water policy shows up at the federal level in the water resources, energy, and military construction budge authorizations and appropriations.
One recent enactment, and note became law and veto override was the Water Resources Act of 2007!
Go to:H.R.1495 : Water Resources Development Act of 2007
Sponsor: Rep Oberstar, James L. [MN-8] (introduced 3/13/2007) Cosponsors (3)
Committees: House Transportation and Infrastructure
House Reports: 110-80; Latest Conference Report: 110-280 (in Congressional Record H9059-9188)
Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 110-114 [GPO: Text, PDF]
Note: Public Law enacted over veto.
Much policy buried in these periodic enactments. Water policy was little understood in FEMA except when Lee Thomas the number 3 in the agency until he left to head EPA recruited FRANK THOMAS from the abruptly ended Water Resources Council in 1982-83. That organization had led the drafting and implementation of E.O. 11990 concerning WETLANDS and E.O. 11988 concerning FLOOD PLAIN MANAGEMENT both issued in 1997. Both now under consideration for active revision.