About the Council
The Western States Water Council is a government entity, an instrumentality of each and every participating state, consisting of representatives appointed by the governors of eighteen western states. Since its creation, through adoption of a resolution at the Western Governors’ Conference in 1965, the Council has striven to fulfill its chartered purposes. While the emphasis and focus of the Council has changed over the years, that essential principles remain: to foster cooperation among it member states, and provide a forum for discussion of a broad spectrum of water resource challenges facing the West. The purposes of the Council are to:
- Accomplish effective cooperation among western states in the conservation, development and management of water resources;
- Maintain vital state prerogatives, while identifying ways to accommodate legitimate federal interests;
- Provide a forum for the exchange of views, perspectives, and experiences among member states; and
- Provide analysis of federal and state developments in order to assist member states in evaluating impacts of federal laws and programs and the effectiveness of state laws and policies.
For more about the WSWC, please click here…
The Western States Water Council is the preeminent water policy organization in the western U.S. representing as it does 18 western states. From influential positions on federal rules and legislation to support of Landsat missions intended to acquire important water use information, the Council serves it member states like no other entity. My 18-year membership with the Council is one of the most memorable experiences of my service as Wyoming State Engineer.
I find the Council to be a provocative forum to discuss how State water supply and water quality program should interact. Western perspectives highlight the unique and confounding aspects of managing water quality in ways that defy uniform application of the Clean Water Act. And there may be no greater champion of the importance of water data programs of the USGS and NRCS than the WSWC.
The Western States Water Council is recognized as a national leader in developing and influencing national and western water policy, while serving as the water arm for the Western Governors’ Association. The Council provides an excellent forum for states and federal agencies to discuss water issues of mutual interest. I know that my time on the Council certainly enhanced my ability as a leader on state water issues.