The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee staff selected 22 groups to present and discuss their proposed solutions to the challenge of meeting the nation's ever increasing demand for water. This half-day bipartisan conference is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5 at 2:15 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

The committee announced the conference in March and invited the public to submit written proposals that address various aspects of domestic water challenges. The committee received more than 130 proposals from the public, utilities, environmental organizations, universities, think tanks and state and federal agencies.

“I am extremely impressed with the breadth and quality of the submissions. It is my hope that this forum will yield creative and innovative solutions to our pressing water needs. This conference, like the two conferences before it, will help my committee craft meaningful legislation,” says Senator Pete Domenici, committee chairman.

Republican and Democrat policy staff reviewed the proposals and selected 22 groups to present 23 proposals for discussion at the conference. (One group will present more than one proposal.) While the committee initially asked the public to address six topics, the drought issue now will be considered at a separate committee hearing. In the interest of time, the remaining five questions have been condensed into four.

The participants will each have two minutes to introduce their proposals and make their main points. The remaining time will be used to debate proposals and field questions. The public and media are invited to attend.

The participants and the topics they will address are below. The list is subject to change in the event of cancellation. Representatives from some federal agencies not included as participants may be on hand to provide technical support and answer background questions.

The list of participants, conference guidelines and the text of proposals to be discussed at the conference can be found on the committee's Web site at:

Question 1: Water Supply and Resource Management Coordination
Metropolitan Water District, State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Carlsbad Irrigation District, Trout Unlimited, American Rivers, Chuck DuMars, Idaho Department of Water Resources/Idaho Water Resources Research Institute

Question 2: Future of the Bureau
National Water Resources Association, WateReuse Assocation, Western States Water Council, Family Farm Alliance, City of Santa Fe, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Question 3: Indian and Federal Reserved Water Rights
Western States Water Council, NM State Engineer, Nordhaus, Native American Rights Fund

Question 4: Conservation and Technological Developments/Knowledge of Water Resources
Awwa Research Foundation, General Electric, Environmental Defense, National Ground Water Association, City of Albuquerque, Texas Water Development Board