Executive Order Aims to Streamline National Water Management

  • by ACWA Staff
  • Oct 14, 2020
  • Water News

President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on Oct. 13 that formally establishes an interagency Water Subcabinet aimed at streamlining the federal management of water resources and resulting in more coordinated and effective decision-making.

Titled “The Executive Order on Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure,” the order also promotes water infrastructure projects and lists water supply and storage among top priorities, stating “Abundant, safe, and reliable supplies of water are critical to quality of life for all Americans, fueling our economy, providing food for our citizens and the world, generating energy, protecting public health, supporting rich and diverse wildlife and plant species, and affording recreational opportunities.”

ACWA Executive Director Dave Eggerton called the federal order a positive step on numerous fronts.

“It supports the realization of modern water supply solutions for the benefit of communities, food production and the environment by integrating efforts across all federal departments and highlighting the necessity of ongoing investment in our nation’s water supply infrastructure,” Eggerton said. “The order also formalizes the Water Subcabinet, which will undoubtedly improve inter-agency coordination, efficiency and effectiveness.”

Already operating at a previously informal level, the Water Subcabinet will recommend actions to improve water quality, promote restoration activities and examine water challenges facing minority, low-income and rural communities. It will also work to upgrade the nation’s water infrastructure, improve public health and create jobs.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler will co-chair the Water Subcabinet, which is tasked with addressing a variety of specific objectives, including:

  • Bolstering the nation’s water workforce by supporting more opportunities for recruiting, training and retaining career water professionals
  • Prioritizing actions to modernize and safeguard water resources and infrastructure
  • Reducing inefficiencies and duplications between federal organizations managing water resources
  • Developing a national water strategy to ensure the reliability of water supplies, water quality, water systems, and water forecasting

More information about the Executive Order is available through a news release from the Environmental Protection Agency.

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