Selected Federal Water Activities: Agencies, Authorities, and Congressional Committees [August 7, 2012] [open pdf - 494KB]
"Congress addresses numerous water issues annually. From responding to natural disasters such as droughts and floods, to improving the nation's water resource and water quality infrastructure, and protecting fish and wildlife, many different congressional committees are involved in legislating, funding, and overseeing the water-related activities of numerous federal agencies. Nearly two centuries of such involvement in water resource project development, environmental and resource management activities, and responding to population shifts and changing societal desires have resulted in a complex web of federal activities related to water. Although the responsibility for development, management, protection, and allocation of the nation's water resources is spread among federal, state, local, tribal, and private interests, this report focuses on the complexity of federal activities related to water. It is meant to serve as a guide to federal water-related activities, including the administering agency(ies), the primary or overarching authorities for such activities, and House and Senate committee jurisdictions. In most cases, the primary authorities listed are authorizing statutes and accompanying U.S. Code citations; in some cases, constitutional or other authorities are provided. In providing this analysis, CRS [Congressional Research Service] does not cover every aspect of water policy. Instead, the authors have attempted to cover the major federal activities authorized by Congress that affect water resource development, management, protection, and use in the United States. Similarly, this analysis does not cover every aspect of House and Senate committee jurisdiction affecting water issues. Accordingly, it may be helpful to seek the views of the House and Senate Parliamentarian Offices for a more definitive evaluation of committee jurisdictions related to water. Further, programs known to have expired and for which reauthorization legislation is pending are noted; however, given the breadth of the report and constant executive and legislative branch activity, it is not possible to provide comprehensive status reports for all entries."
CRS Report for Congress, R42653