The purpose of this order is to repeal Administrative Order No.132 and to reestablish the Alaska Water Management Council. The Council is created in order to foster the coordination of state and federal agencies in the identification and resolution of issues related to the management of Alaska’s water resources. The responsibility of the Council is to serve as a convenient forum in which representatives of state and federal agencies may exchange information and concerns relating to the management of water resources in Alaska. The Council shall concentrate its efforts in the identification of means by which the coordination of the agencies having management responsibility over water resources in Alaska may serve to improve and render more efficient agency activities relating to the (1) collection, assessment, and management of data concerning water resources; (2) allocation of water rights; (3) issuance of permits governing activities affecting surface and ground waters resources; (4) coordination of public information on Alaska’s water resources; and (5) coordination of water resources development and conservation.
FINDINGS1. It is recognized that Alaska’s water resources are an important health, recreational, and economic resource to all Alaskans.
2. Within the State of Alaska and the other States of the Union, increasing demands are being placed upon agencies responsible for the management of water resources while at the same time the availability of financial resources to manage them are being reduced. In addition, all indications suggest this trend will continue unabated throughout the decade.
3. As population pressures increase and 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 concerning Alaska’s waters to ensure that environmental, economic, habitat, and health benefits are protected to the maximum extent possible.
4. It is understood that Alaska’s water resources have national significance and that these water resources may be affected by the decision-making processes of all federal agencies with land, habitat, and environmental management responsibilities.
5. State and federal law governing the administration of water resources in Alaska is complex. The interrelated nature of state and federal management affecting water resources in Alaska further complicates the sound management of these resources. The identification and resolution of major water-related issues can be best accomplished by dialogue, discussion, and coordination of these issues in a convenient forum. It is therefore recognized that the creation of a forum for discussion concerning the coordination of water management within Alaska is in the public interest.
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 or Council) is hereby established.
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) to be selected as provided herein 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 in the standing committee shall be offered only to representatives of 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 represented organization or at the unanimous written directive of the executive committee.
5. In executing its function, the AWMC shall have the authority to create such subcommittees, working groups, or task forces as it deems necessary to accomplish identified tasks. To the extent consistent with the statutes, regulations, and policies governing the conduct of participating Council members’ agencies, these working subunits shall report directly to and take direction from the AWMC.
6. During the last quarter of each calendar year, each member of the AWMC (both executive and standing committees) shall, to the extent permissible by law and not involving disclosure of any confidential information and at the discretion of the participating Council member’s agency, submit to the executive committee a formal listing of all major water-related activities proposed to be carried out during the course of the following year by the organization represented by the members. 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 the elimination or reduction of the duplication of agency effort.
7. Upon identification of areas of mutual interest and at the discretion of participating Council members’ agencies, the AWMC may submit to represented agencies proposals for agreements between agencies represented in the AWMC concerning goals, procedures, or other actions. The AWMC shall not have, however,
any authority to approve, review, or implement on behalf of the state or the federal government any proposals or agreements by the state or federal agencies represented at the AWMC.
8. Nothing in this order shall be construed to purport to vest in the AWMC any authority to adopt, promulgate, or make any rules, regulations, or standards having the force of law. Nothing in this order shall be construed to vest in the AWMC authority to bind or commit any agency or instrumentality of the State of Alaska in any agreement, contract, or compact. Nothing in this order shall be construed to purport to vest in the AWMC the authority to execute or enforce existing law or regulation. This order is intended only to facilitate the establishment of a forum of discussion and coordination, and is not intended to create any third-party rights or modify the authority of the participating agencies.
9. It is intended that the establishment and functioning of the AWMC shall not require the expenditure of additional state financial resources or the creation of any new state positions.
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 22nd day of January, 1993.
By: S/S Walter J. Hickel
Walter J. Hickel
Governor of the State of Alaska