The 2020 NGWA Groundwater Fly-In and Water Resources Congressional Summit was held March 3-4 in Washington, D.C. More than 110 water professionals were in the nation’s capital for the event with members of the Irrigation Association and Water Quality Association joining the NGWA contingent.
Attendees gathered the first day to hear discussions on key water issues and then took to Capitol Hill the second day to meet with representatives from their congressional districts. The group combined to meet with 45 different congressional offices.
The topics NGWA members discussed were supporting funding and legislation that test for and treat per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), supporting bills related to managed aquifer recharge, supporting legislation that aids in sustaining a professional workforce, and funding the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network.
NGWA CEO Terry S. Morse, CAE, CIC; NGWA Federal Affairs Director John Farner; Public Affairs and Regional Policy Manager Ben Frech, and Director of Affiliate Services Group Dave Schulenberg, QAS, joined NGWA members on the Hill.
Tim Petty, the assistant secretary of water and science in the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Dave Ross of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water, gave presentations to the attendees the first day, while the second day featured NGWA and IA presenting a congressional briefing to 30 representatives from congressional offices.
The briefing featured a panel and covered two topics, “Driving Agricultural Productivity Through Water Efficiency” and “The Effects of PFAS on our Nation’s Groundwater Supply.” NGWA Board of Directors member Seth Kellogg, PG, represented NGWA on the panel, while Farner moderated the session.
“With legislation currently being debated concerning PFAS, managed aquifer recharge, USGS funding, and work development, it is a great time for our members to be lobbying on Capitol Hill,” Farner said. “Our members have firsthand knowledge of how these issues impact our industry and we’re thrilled with the energy and passion they brought to the Fly-In.”