The U.S. Department of the Interior, through the U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Division, is responsible for the Water Information Coordination Program (WICP) of the Federal Government. Originally, this responsibility was delegated to the Interior Department in Office of Management and Budget Circular A-67, "Coordination of Federal activities in the acquisition of certain water data,"(1964). In December 1991, the circular was updated and replaced by OMB Memorandum No. 92-01, which created the Water Information Coordination Program.
In 1964, when the original delegation was signed, the Interior Department established the Office of Water Data Coordination within the Water Resources Division, to implement the program. At the same time, the Secretary created two advisory committees.
The Interagency Advisory Committee on Water Data (IACWD), which was composed of about 30 major Federal organizations, and
The Advisory Committee on Water Data for Public Use (ACWDPU), which was composed of about 20 major private sector organizations representing States, Indian tribes, technical societies, universities, public interest groups, and industry.
The Committee structure was continued under OMB M-92-01, and two changes were made. First, the two groups were combined into the single Advisory Committee on Water Information, to increase the possibility of meaningful dialogue between the public and private sectors. Secondly, the new charter limited the size of the group, and elevated the level of personnel. The Advisory Committee charter was signed on September 19, 1996, and in October organizations were invited by the Secretary of the Interior to name representatives to the Advisory Committee. The Committee is chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
May 7, 1997 was the first meeting of the Advisory Committee on Water Information.
Another important antecedent organization was the Intergovernmental Task Force on Monitoring Water Quality (ITFM). The ITFM was a Federal/State partnership with representatives from 20 Federal, State, and interstate organizations. From 1992 to 1997 it carried out a review of water-quality monitoring activities, and recommended improvements in its reports. Appropriate action was taken by the Advisory Committee on Water Information, and the ITFM was reconstituted with both public and private sector representatives as the National Water Quality Monitoring Council in 1997.