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ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON WATER INFORMATION SUBCOMMITTEE ON HYDROLOGY

TERMS OF REFERENCE

I. OFFICIAL DESIGNATION: The Subcommittee on Hydrology of the Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI).
II. Purpose, scope, applicability, and functions
A. PURPOSE: The overall goal of the Subcommittee on Hydrology (Subcommittee) is to improve the availability and reliability of information needed for hazard mitigation, water supply and water use management, and environmental protection. Precipitation and stream flow information are required to support water-supply planning, water allocation, flood-control operations, water-quality management, navigation, recreation, flood forecasting, emergency management operations, and other decision making at local, State, Tribal, interstate, and national scales. The purpose of the Subcommittee is to analyze relevant issues and facts and to draft proposed position papers or recommendations for improving the availability and reliability of surface-water quantity information. The Subcommittee forwards the draft papers and recommendations to the ACWI for deliberation and approval as advice to the Federal Government.
B. SCOPE: The Subcommittee considers all quantity aspects of the surface water component of the hydrologic cycle including precipitation, streamflow, lake and reservoir storage and estuaries. Also, the Subcommittee recognizes the relationships of surface-water quantity to other components of the hydrologic cycle and to the institutional aspects of water resources management. The Subcommittee considers policies, programs, and activities for the collection, analysis, assessment, archiving, distribution, reporting and use of precipitation, streamflow, and related information.
C. APPLICABILITY: As resources are available and consistent with applicable legal requirements, organizations that participate in Subcommittee activities will implement recommendations and voluntarily use the guidelines and procedures developed by the Subcommittee and approved by the ACWI.
D. FUNCTIONS: The Subcommittee will foster the availability and effective use of precipitation and streamflow information for hazard mitigation, water-supply planning, and natural resources management in the United States through the following mechanisms.
  1. Institutional partnerships--Foster collaborative partnerships of relevant organizations at the national, river basin, State, Tribal, and watershed levels for the support of a national program of precipitation, streamflow, and related monitoring activities. Collaborate with the National Water-Quality Monitoring Council on surface-water monitoring issues.

  2. Data acquisition and reduction--Develop guidelines for planning, designing, an operating precipitation and streamflow data programs of institutional partners. Develop procedures to improve the interpretation and integration of data needed to describe surface-water resources and to understand the factors that affect the spatial and temporal distribution of the resources.

  3. Information management and sharing--Create links among information systems to support easy access and to share precipitation, streamflow, and other related data. Adopt common terminology and definitions for documenting surface-water data. Establish a mechanism that uses modern information technology to make data available to all interested parties.

  4. Methods and data comparability--Provide coordination necessary to develop, distribute and implement recommended methods, guidelines and consensus standards for collecting and analyzing precipitation, streamflow, water use and related data.

  5. Reporting and public education--Foster a better understanding of surface-water conditions, trends, and issues among hydrology professionals, decision makers and the general public. Sponsor conferences and other forums to encourage the transfer of information among professionals in surface-water hydrology.

  6. Training--Identify training requirements and recommend collaborative training activities to make the most effective use of monitoring resources and to facilitate data quality, comparability, and sharing among institutional partners.
III. MEMBERSHIP:
A. The Subcommittee will have a membership of Federal, interstate, State, Tribal, and local government agencies and private organizations. The membership will include organizations that collect, analyze, disseminate, or use precipitation, water use, streamflow, and related data as well as those that develop monitoring technology, guidelines, and (or) standards.
B. Organizations that pledge to actively support the functions of the Subcommittee may become voting members by: (1) informing the Chair in writing of their desire to participate and (2) providing information that is needed to communicate with them. Active support includes attending meetings, drafting documents, reviewing and commenting on documents, making presentations, and other contributions of staff time, funding, or other resources. During meetings the Chair will announce membership applications received up to two weeks before the meeting. Applicants will become members at the next meeting.
C. Each member organization will designate a representative and alternate to the Subcommittee.
D. The Chair and Vice Chair will be selected from among the representatives of the member organizations. At the first Subcommittee meeting, the members will elect a Chair and Vice Chair. The Chair and the Vice Chair will serve until September 30 of the full year after the Subcommittee is formed. Biannually thereafter, the Vice Chair will become Chair and the members will elect a new Vice Chair to replace the Chair after two years. Also, the Vice Chair will serve in the absence of the Chair. A special election will be held if either the Chair or Vice Chair terminate their association with the Subcommittee before their terms expire.
E. Representatives or alternates of member organizations are expected to attend all meetings of the Subcommittee. If a member organization is not represented at 50 percent of the meetings in any fiscal year (October 1 to September 30), the Chair will remove the organization from the membership rolls. An organization can be reinstated one year later by informing the Chair of their desire to renew their participation as a member of the Subcommittee.
IV. MEETINGS AND PROCEDURES:
A. The Subcommittee will meet every three months and at other times as designated by the Chair. At least three meetings each year will be held in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The Chair will determine the dates, times, and locations of the meetings in consultation with the members. The Chair alsowill be responsible for announcing meetings and distributing agendas and information about meetings to all members at least two weeks in advance of the meetings.
B. The representatives and alternates of the Subcommittee will receive no pay,allowances, or benefits from the Subcommittee or the ACWI. All travel expenses will be borne by the individual member organizations.
C. The Subcommittee will conduct business in an open fashion by discussing and attempting to resolve all issues through consensus and by recognizing the legitimate interests and diverse views of the Subcommittee participants. If complete agreement cannot be reached on a specific issue, then the following procedures will apply:

  1. A consensus will exist unless a representative (or alternate) of one or more member organizations requests a vote.

  2. Once a vote is requested, then Robert's Rules of Order apply, and the Chair will poll the voting member organizations of the Subcommittee. An affirmative vote of a majority of the member organizations present will constitute approval of a motion. Each member organization, except for the Chair, may cast one vote. In the event of a tie, the Chair will cast the deciding vote. Two thirds of the representatives (or alternates) of the members organizations will constitute the quorum necessary to vote.

  3. The Chair will sign and forward to the Chair of the ACWI, through the Executive Secretary, decisions of the Subcommittee on Hydrology that are proposed advice, guidance or recommendations intended for implementation nationwide or by the Federal Government. Members may prepare minority reports and provide them to the Subcommittee Chair within 3 weeks of a decision. Such minority reports will be included in the final majority reports.
D. Meetings of the Subcommittee will be open. Each meeting will include time for individuals who are not representatives or alternates to make statements at the discretion of the chair.
E. Before proposing consensus guidelines, methods, or standards for voluntary implementation nationwide, it is appropriate for the Subcommittee on Hydrology to announce proposed guidelines, methods or standards in the Federal Register for the purpose of obtaining public review and comment on the technical aspects of the guidelines. As it deems appropriate, the Subcommittee will revise its proposals and products based on the public review comments. The Subcommittee will document the results of the public review, comments and revisions in the final draft information submitted to the ACWI for deliberation and approval.
F. Decisions by the Subcommittee may be reached in formal session or in writing on an individual basis after the Chair advises every representative of the member organizations about the issue at least 10 working days in advance.
G. The Chair will prepare and distribute minutes with action items of Subcommittee meetings to members and to the Executive Secretary of the ACWI.
V. TERMINATION:
The Chair of the ACWI has the authority to terminate the Subcommittee in consultation with the member organizations of the ACWI and the Subcommittee. At least 60 days notice must be provided in advance of termination.
VI. SUBORDINATE GROUPS:
For assistance in conducting its business, the Subcommittee may establish subordinate groups. Such groups will gather information, conduct research, analyze relevant issues and facts, and draft proposed position papers and recommendations for deliberation by the Subcommittee. These groups will be established by the Chair and will have the balanced perspectives and knowledge necessary to perform their assigned functions. Representatives that serve on subordinate groups may include organizations or experts that are not members of the Subcommittee or the ACWI, but that provide knowledgeable and interested individuals needed to carry out the assigned tasks. All subordinate groups will serve for the time necessary to complete the actions for which they were formed. The Subcommittee will review the status of subordinate groups each year and terminate those that have completed their assignments.
VII. AUTHORITY:
The Subcommittee is part of the Water Information Coordination Program mandated by OMB Memorandum No. 92-01, dated December 10, 1991. The Subcommittee reports to the ACWI that operates under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The Subcommittee is not separately chartered under FACA.
Dates of Approval:
ACWI: August 18, 1998 Subcommittee: July 22, 1998
Signed:
Nancy Lopez
Executive Secretary, ACWI
Donald Woodward
Chair, Federal Subcommittee

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10:21:45 Fri 02 Apr 2004