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ACWI Charter

United States Department
of the Interior

Advisory Committee on Water Information


  1. Official Designation: Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI). Formerly, this was the Advisory Committee on Water Data for Public Use.

  2. Purpose, Objectives, and Goals: The ACWI advises the Federal Government, through the Department of the Interior (DOI), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), on the Federal Water Information Coordination Program (WICP). The purpose of the Committee will be to represent the interests of water-information users and professionals in advising the Federal Government on activities and plans related to Federal water-information programs and their effectiveness of those programs in meeting the Nation's water-information needs. Also, member organizations of the ACWI collaborate with the USGS to sponsor workshops, symposia, and other forums to foster better communication between the Federal and non-Federal sectors on water-information acquisition, information sharing, and related technology transfer. More specifically, the ACWI will meet the objectives and requirements of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum No. M92-01, as follows:

    1. The ACWI will advise the Federal Government on mechanisms and procedures to establish routine communications and more effective working relationships with State and local agencies, with Indian Tribes, and with the private sector.

    2. The ACWI will evaluate the effectiveness of existing water-information programs and recommend modifications needed to respond to changes in legislation, technology, and other conditions.

    3. The ACWI will recommend procedures at the national, interstate, and State levels to conduct business related to the WICP, to exchange information, and to foster collaboration.

    4. The ACWI will provide advice and consultation on WICP efforts to plan and design a cost-effective national network of water-data collection and analysis that meets the priority water-information needs of the Federal Government and, to the extent possible within available resources, the needs of the non-Federal community that are tied to national interests.

    5. The ACWI will recommend procedures to coordinate funding, staffing, and the provision of other resources needed to support water-information activities for ensuring the best use of available resources.

    6. The ACWI will provide advice and consultation in support of WICP efforts to develop uniform standards, guidelines, and procedures for the collection, analysis, management, and dissemination of water information in order to improve quality, consistency, and accessibility nationwide.

    7. The ACWI will provide advice, counsel, and recommendations on WICP efforts to foster improved communication networks for water information, working through member organizations and using the best technologies, to index and disseminate information so as to improve the awareness of, availability of, and access to existing water-information holdings of Federal agencies and the non-Federal sector.

    8. The ACWI will prepare and/or distribute documents that inform others about the conclusions, recommendations, and activities resulting from the Committee's deliberations.

  3. Membership:

    1. Appointments: The Secretary of the Interior will appoint Federal agencies and non-Federal organizations with differing viewpoints and water-resources functions to serve as members of the ACWI. The Associate Director for Water of the USGS, in consultation with the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science of the DOI, will recommend a slate of nominations to the Secretary, including nongovernmental organizations that represent differing viewpoints on water information, management, science, and technical resources.

    2. Representation: Membership will rest with the organization, not with individuals. Member organizations represent the interests of water-oriented Federal, State, regional, and Tribal organizations; professional and technical societies; the academic community; and private industry. Each participating organization in all categories will designate their representative and an alternate to the Committee. To avoid conflicts of interests, non-Federal member organizations will not designate employees of the Federal Government as their representatives to the Committee. Total membership of ACWI will not exceed 35 organizations.

    3. The Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, DOI, or his/her designee will chair the ACWI. The Alternate Chair will be the Associate Director for Water of the USGS. The Chief, WICP, will be the Executive Secretary and Designated Federal Officer of the ACWI.

    4. Payment: Representatives to the ACWI will receive no pay, allowances, or benefits by reason of their service on the Committee. However, while away from their homes or regular places of business, in the performance of services for the Committee, non-Federal representatives to the ACWI will be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in Government service are allowed such expenses under Section 5703 of Title 5 of the United State Code.

    5. Terms: Member organizations will serve 4-year terms from the date of the designation letter, and may be reappointed. If the Secretary chooses not to recharter the ACWI, then the organizations will cease to be members. To remain in active status, member organizations are expected to participate in ACWI meetings and activities. Organizations failing to attend two consecutive ACWI annual meetings will forfeit their membership.

    A representative may not participate in matters that will directly affect, or appear to affect, the financial interests of the representative or the representatives' spouse or minor children. Compensation from employment does not constitute a disqualifying financial interest so long as the matter before this Committee will not have a special or distinct effect on the holder of the financial interest. The provisions of this paragraph do not affect any statutory or regulatory ethical obligations to which a representative may be subject.

  5. Meetings and Procedures:

    1. Meetings: The ACWI will meet at least once a year and at such other times as designated by the chair.

    2. Summary Report: A summary report of each ACWI meeting will be prepared for distribution to the membership, to others as appropriate, to the public upon request, and will be included in the General Services Administration/Federal Advisory Committee Act (GSA/FACA) online database. Subcommittees and working groups will schedule their meetings in consultation with the chair or his/her designee, and reports of such meetings will be made to the Committee.

    3. Minutes of each ACWI meeting, with action items and recommendations made, and copies of all studies and reports received, issued, or approved in conjunction with the activities of the Committee will be available for public viewing at the following location:

      Water Information Coordination Program
      U.S. Geological Survey
      417 National Center
      Reston, Virginia 20192
      (703) 648-5676

    4. Activities of the ACWI will be coordinated with the activities of other organizations, as appropriate. This coordination will include interactions with the Federal Geographic Data Committee to support water-resources aspects of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure and other efforts of mutual interest.

    5. Member representatives will be responsible for keeping their organizations informed of the Committee activities and for coordinating reviews of related documents within their organizations.

  6. Period of Time Necessary for the Committee's Activities: The total period of time necessary for the ACWI to carry out its activities is estimated to be for as long as the DOI operates national systems for acquiring and disseminating water information.The Committee will take no action unless the filing requirements of Sections 9 and 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. Appendix) have been met.

  7. Official to Whom the Committee Reports: The ACWI reports to the Secretary of Interior, through the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science.

  8. Support Services: Support services for the activities of the Committee will be provided by the WICP.

  9. Duties of the Committee: The duties of the ACWI are solely advisory as set forth in paragraph 2 of this Charter.

  10. Estimated Operating Costs: Annual Federal operating costs for the Committee and its subcommittees are estimated to be $650,000 which includes 5.5 FTE work years of staff support.

  11. Termination Date: The ACWI will terminate 2 years from the date this Charter is filed unless prior to that date it is renewed by the Secretary of Interior in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. Appendix (1988).

  12. Subordinate Groups: For assistance in conducting its business, the ACWI may establish subordinate groups. Such groups will gather information, conduct research, analyze relevant issues and facts, and draft proposed position papers and/or recommendations for deliberation by the ACWI. These groups will be established by the chair, and they 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 ACWI, but that provide knowledgeable and interested parties needed to carry out the assigned tasks. The Terms of Reference for these groups will be reviewed and approved by the ACWI. These groups will report directly to the ACWI or, in some cases, through a subcommittee or a subordinate council.

  13. Designated Federal Officer: The Chief, WICP, will serve as the Designated Federal Officer, as required by Section 10 of the FACA.

  14. Authority: The ACWI will operate in conformance with:

    1. OMB Memorandum No. M-92-01, dated December 10, 1991, requires the establishment of an advisory committee for the purposes outlined in paragraph 2 of this charter.

    2. The general language of an act of March 3, 1879, 43 U.S.C.31 (1988), which created the Geological Survey and called for "...the examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain."

    3. Authority is also provided by the Secretary's charge to supervise the public business relating to activities of the USGS, 43 U.S.C.1457 (1988).

    4. In addition, authority is contained in annual appropriations language establishing USGS responsibilities related to water resources, including the National Water-Quality Assessment Program and the National Water Resources Research Information System and the Federal/State Cooperative Program.

   /S/ Gale A. Norton
Secretary of the Interior

May 9, 2003
Date Signed

June 19, 2003
Date Charter Filed

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