Professor Reed Benson testifies before Congress on western water uses

May 2, 2016 - Tamara Williams

Professor Reed Benson
Professor Reed Benson

Reed Benson, Professor of Law and chair of the Natural Resources and Environmental Law Program, was invited to share his expertise and appear as a witness to provide testimony before Congress on April 13, 2016.

Benson was invited by Dr. John Fleming, Chair of the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans and testified at the committee’s oversight hearing titled, “Empowering States and Western Water Uses Through Regulatory and Administrative Reforms.”

In his testimony, Benson advised the committee to consider Recovery Implementation Programs (RIPs), which provide for ongoing water use and development while also taking steps to benefit listed species.

He concluded his testimony by saying, “The water management challenges of the West are only getting more serious in this era of climate change, rapid population growth, and potentially conflicting demands. Yesterday’s Reclamation built many of the water projects that have helped today’s West withstand some of the impacts of drought. If Reclamation can do more in the future with its existing authorities, it can help the West do more with its limited water supplies.”

Benson's written testimony can be found here.

A live webcast and archived video online of his testimony is available at:

The Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans is responsible for matters concerning America’s water resources, federal irrigation projects, generation of electric power from federal water projects, interstate water issues and fisheries management.

Benson previously testified before the same subcommittee at an oversight hearing on “Federal Impediments to Water Rights, Job Creation and Recreation: A Local Perspective” on April 25, 2013.