FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DERICK CORBETT
July 30, 2009 (770) 232-3005
Washington, D.C.- On July 28, 2009, Representative John Linder (R-GA) joined his colleagues in Congress to begin a serious discussion and examination of America’s water issues. The national water policy event featured a number of individuals from President Obama’s Administration, Congress, local governments from around the country as well as public private partnerships.
Linder stated after the event, “In 2007, I co-founded the House Water Caucus in response to the growing need for Congress to address our nation’s water woes. My goal was to get the key players involved in water policy in one room to begin a serious discussion about the current state of our country’s water resources management system. There are thousands of people involved in the effort, but they don’t typically share their information with one another. I wanted to provide them with a central Congressional forum so they could bring all that information to one place. On July 28, it finally happened. The best and the brightest from the water world traveled from far and wide to convene in one room to begin the process of tackling our nation’s growing water problems head on. There was a flurry of discussion throughout the room.”
Tuesday’s event was hosted by the Chronicles Group, a 501C3 public information and educational film production company, and a large number of private sector and non-profit water organizations from all over the United States were sponsors. This educational event allowed Administration officials, diplomatic officials, Members of Congress, staff, and a variety of water policy experts from around the country to learn about the current challenges facing our nation’s water resources through the lens of Jim Thebaut’s (Director/Producer/Writer of the Running Dry Project) award-winning documentary, The American Southwest: Are We Running Dry. Linder expressed his enthusiasm that the July 28 event marks the beginning of Congress’ efforts to work with the public and private sectors to tackle our nation’s water problems.
Thebaut, who has been awarded the Water Charity Humanitarian Award for his films and serves as President of the Chronicles Group, said, “With the reality of water scarcity, water quality issues, global climate change, drought and population growth, the United States Government must take the lead and set an example to the rest of the world on how to solve the evolving water crisis. The first step in this critical endeavor is the establishment and implementation of a comprehensive integrated water policy."
Linder added “Given the fractured nature of our water resources management system in place today, our work will not be easy, but I am more than ready to face the challenges that lie ahead. Our goal ought to be to form a consensus about what needs to get done and devise a strategy to get there. As Gene Whitney of the Congressional Research Service noted during the panel discussion, ‘we need a political strategy.’ I cannot agree more.”
Linder went on to say that without a strategy in place America will continue to be ill-prepared to deal with increased droughts, raw water supply issues, the unique challenges faced by the Native American community, and interstate conflict. He added that the role of the Federal government in managing water resources has become muddled. He stated, “We need to work on bringing definitive clarity to the missions of the major entities involved in water resources management. We need a comprehensive integrated water policy.”
With hundreds in attendance, speakers included Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Representative Jim Costa (D-CA), and Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), as well as others. All stressed the importance of a comprehensive integrated water policy.
Linder expressed his deep appreciation to Jim Thebaut for all his work on the issue. “Jim is a real leader in the water community. His educational documentaries on the issue are providing the ground work needed to build solutions, and I am very pleased to join him in his effort to answer the call to ensure that we never face day when we are left ‘Running Dry.’”
If you would like more information about the film featured in Tuesday’s evening’s event, please visit http://www.runningdry.org/world.html