Western Water Cooperative Committee

The 117th Congress authorized the Western Water Cooperative Committee through §8158 of the 2022 Water Resources Development Act, contained in Division H of the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (H.R. 7776) (P.L. 117-263)

Water Resources Development Act of 2022 Section 8158

The Western States are defined in the statute to include: States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.


The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) and Western States Water Council (WSWC), together with the Western Governors Association (WGA) supported the bipartisan effort of North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley to create the Western Water Cooperative Committee to provide a forum for discussions between the Corps and Western States regarding their respective roles under the 1944 Flood Control Act and the 1958 Water Supply Act, with express Congressional recognition of the primacy of state law over the allocation and use of waters within a state’s territorial boundaries.

The Corps owns and operates significant infrastructure in the west and has numerous federal priorities it considers. The Corps’ interpretations and implementation of its priorities often conflict with the States’ water management laws and policies. We are hopeful that the Committee will strengthen a spirit of cooperative federalism and practical problem-solving as water management continues to be critical to western states. Ideally, the Committee would provide an opportunity to: (1) facilitate ongoing state-federal communication; and (2) ensure that Corps policies and management of flood control projects are consistent with Congressional intent to defer to Western States on matters of water allocation.


March 17, 2023 – WSWC-CWAG Briefing on the Corps Western Water Cooperative Committee

Western State Appointed Members

The membership of the Cooperative Committee includes the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, the Chief of Engineers, two representatives from each Western State appointed by the governor and the attorney general, and one employee from each of the impacted regional offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

December 2023 Roster 


WSWC Support Letter Western Water Cooperative Committee (May 2022)
CWAG Letter re WRDA 2022 Corps Water Committee (May 2022)
WGA Letter re WRDA (June 2022)
CWAG Letter Corps Western Water Cooperative Committee (July 2022)

CWAG-WSWC Comment Letter on WRDA Implementation (March 2023)
CWAG-WSWC Letter to Assistant Secretary Connor with initial appointments (May 2023)
WSWC Email Correspondence with the Corps (Aug-Dec 2023)
WSWC Email Correspondence with the Western States (Feb-Sep 2023)