(White House Press Release, October 27, 2020)
To address America’s challenges, President Trump takes a common sense, straightforward approach. Rather than following bureaucratic, outdated, and inefficient processes, President Trump takes action to drive decision making that achieves practical results. This includes changing the Federal Government’s approach to managing our Nation’s water resources.
Water supports our quality of life, public health, food production, energy supplies, and economy, as well as our diverse wildlife and plant species. The United States is blessed with abundant water resources like the Colorado River, which supplies water to more than 40 million people living in the United States and irrigates nearly 4.5 million acres, generating many billions of dollars a year in agricultural and economic benefits. However, decades of uncoordinated Federal actions have diminished the effectiveness of Federal water infrastructure facilities and programs to deliver needed water to communities across the United States. Since the beginning of his Administration, President Trump has refused to allow misguided policies to remain in effect and has sought to increase water reliability for families, farmers, and businesses.
This month, President Trump took action by signing an Executive Order on “Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure.” With this Executive Order, President Trump is formally establishing a Water Subcabinet that will develop a national water strategy to improve management of our Nation’s water resources. This group of senior Federal agency officials will be dedicated to promoting efficient and effective coordination of our water supplies and systems while also eliminating duplication across the agencies.
As a businessman, President Trump recognizes that collaboration is crucial to efficient decision making. The executive order directs the Water Subcabinet to identify and provide recommendations to coordinate and consolidate the overlapping activities of hundreds of Federal interagency water-related task forces and working groups. By bringing key policymakers together and reducing duplication, President Trump is streamlining the Federal Government’s approach to solving problems and meeting the needs of our Nation.
Because coordination within the Federal Government is not enough, President Trump is also directing the Water Subcabinet to work with State, local, and tribal partners and rural communities on issues relating to water resource management. This will allow for an integrated approach to addressing major challenges such as the ongoing drought along the Colorado River Basin and irrigated agriculture in Arizona, restoration projects in the Everglades and Great Lakes region, and nutrient reduction strategies along the Mississippi River and in the Gulf of Mexico watershed.
President Trump is also directing the Water Subcabinet to develop research plans to improve forecasting methods to ensure that America remains a global leader in water-related science and technologies. This will lead to better monitoring, measuring, and predicting of water and weather patterns on both regional and national scales.
To provide clean and reliable water to America’s communities, our Nation needs a qualified workforce that can operate our drinking water and wastewater facilities, and major water infrastructure. In 2016, nearly 1.7 million workers were directly involved in designing, constructing, operating, and governing water infrastructure across the United States, and the need for water professionals is only growing. President Trump recognizes this is both a challenge and an opportunity for America’s workers. To strengthen and expand our Nation’s water workforce, the executive order directs the Water Subcabinet to identify opportunities to provide assistance and technical support to State, local, tribal, and territorial governments to recruit, train, and retain water professionals across the country.
Reliable and safe water supplies are essential for our communities, our economy, and our environment. Under the Trump Administration, the Water Subcabinet will continue to take steps to upgrade our infrastructure and improve management of America’s water resources, from the Colorado River Basin to the Florida Everglades, and from the Central Valley of California to the Great Lakes. President Trump’s decisive actions to protect and modernize our Nation’s water infrastructure will help ensure that our country can meet the needs of current and future generations of Americans.