“Federal water-related policy is extremely fragmented and haphazard and prevents us from dealing with our water problems in an expeditious and coordinated fashion,” said Mark O. Hatfield (R-Oreg.), member of the Senate committee on Energy and Natural Resources and sponsor of the Western Water Policy Review Act.
At a September 19 hearing on the proposed legislation, Hatfield pointed out that there are currently at least 13 congressional committees, 8 Cabinet-level departments, 6 independent agencies, and 2 White House offices with some form of responsibility relating to national water management policy. As a result of this fragmentation, coordinating solutions to water problems remains difficult. Jurisdiction disputes between federal and state governments and between states must be resolved, Hatfield believes.