The purpose of this order is to establish the Alaska Water Management Council. This council is to function as a coordinating body for significant water-related issues that fall under the purview of the State of Alaska. The council’s activities will concentrate primarily on data management, assessment, monitoring, and allocation issues, as well as permit and program coordination as they relate to surface waters in streams, lakes, estuaries, and within the state’s marine coastal water area, and groundwater resources.
This order defines the roles of the state agencies and the procedures the state will follow in coordinating these water-related issues.
FINDINGS1. It is in the best interest of the people of the State of Alaska that major water-related issues be coordinated between affected state and federal agencies.
2. It is recognized that Alaska’s water resources represent an important health, recreational, and economic element within the daily lives of all Alaskans.
3. It is understood that Alaska’s water resources have national significance and are an important factor in the decision-making processes of all federal agencies with land, habitat, and environmental management responsibilities.
4. As population pressures increase and unallocated water resources within the western United States and the Pacific Rim become more in demand, it is recognized that major decisions will need to be made on Alaska’s waters to ensure that environmental, economic, habitat, and health benefits are protected to the maximum extent possible.
5. There are increasing requirements being placed on the management of water resources, both within the State of Alaska and at the national level, while at the same time financial resources to do the work are being diminished. In addition, all indications suggest this trend will continue unabated throughout the decade.
6. Based on the complexity of state and national water law, the interspersed nature of state and federal water management responsibilities, and the significant amounts of federal and state land ownership within the state, it is recognized that Alaska’s interests in efficient water management require an organizational entity to coordinate all the diverse needs and interests.
ORDERIn light of the foregoing, I, Walter J. Hickel, Governor of the State of Alaska, order and declare the following:
1. The Alaska Water Management Council (AWMC) is established by Administrative Order No. 132.
2. The AWMC will be composed of two functional units within the body of the organization. The first shall be called the executive committee and shall have as its representatives the Director of the Division of Water, Department of Natural Resources; the Director of the Division of Environmental Quality, Department of Environmental Conservation; and the Director of the Habitat Division, Department of Fish and Game. The second functional unit shall be called the standing committee and shall be composed of director-level representatives (or their equivalents) from state and federal agencies, boards or commissions, that have direct water management responsibilities within the State of Alaska.
3. The AWMC shall have one meeting every quarter of the calendar year and more frequently if deemed necessary by the executive committee. These meetings are to be held at various locations around the State of Alaska. Minutes will be kept of all meetings and distributed to the members of the council.
4. Membership to the standing committee shall be offered only to those state and federal agencies, boards, and commissions that receive the unanimous written consent of the members of the executive committee. Removal from the standing committee shall occur at either the written request of the affected organization or at the unanimous written directive of the executive committee.
5. Appeals to the actions of either the standing or the executive committee must be made directly to the commissioners of the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Department of Fish and Game.
6. In executing its function, the AWMC shall have the authority to create such subcommittees, work groups, or task forces as it deems necessary to accomplish identified tasks. These working subunits shall report directly to and take direction from the AWMC.
7. During the last quarter of each calendar year, each member of the AWMC (both executive and standing committees) shall submit to the executive committee a formal listing of all that organization’s major water-related activities proposed to be carried out during the course of the following year. These listings shall provide the basis for dialogue between participating agencies and be used to identify areas in which mutual cooperation will result in cost efficiencies, multi-agency coordination, and removal of duplication of effort.
8. Upon identification of areas of mutual interest and at the discretion of affected agencies, boards, and commissions, written agreements between participants can be executed to formalize the goals, procedures, and required actions of the participating organizations. Upon execution, those agreements shall be administered by those participants and shall not be subject to oversight, review, or approval of the AWMC.
9. This order is for administrative purposes only and does not create any third-party rights or modify the authorities of the participating agencies.
10. The executive committee shall submit to the Governor, through the commissioners of their respective agencies, an annual progress report that contains the accomplishments of the previous fiscal year and .the goals and objectives for the next fiscal year.
This order takes effect immediately.
DATED at Juneau, Alaska, this 14 of January, 1993.
By: S/S Walter J. Hickel
Walter J. Hickel
Governor of the State of Alaska