Rep. John Linder, Ga., recently introduced legislation to create a presidential appointed commission to recommend how to better capture and store fresh water, fund public works projects, improve water shortage technologies and ease the federal bureaucracy surrounding water management.

The bill calls for the president to appoint 17 commissioners: eight federal water managers and conservation agency officials, five non-government representatives, two local government, and two state or tribal government officials. In one year, they would hold public hearings on water issues and collect information from federal agencies, then offer Congress a blueprint for possible legislation establishing a comprehensive water policy.

Thomas Donnelly, executive director of the National Water Resources Association, testified against the bill, noting 20 commissions since 1900 have been unsuccessful in developing a national water policy.