President Trump Signs Executive Order on Modernizing Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure

Posted by Karen Ray on October 14, 2020 8:35 PM
(News from the Family Farm Alliance)

WASHINGTON -Yesterday, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on “Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure.” This historic action ensures Federal coordination on water policy is standard practice now and into the future by formally establishing a Water Subcabinet of senior Federal agency officials to facilitate efficient and effective management and modernization of our water supplies and systems while also eliminating duplication between agencies.

“The Trump Administration has made it a priority to ensure communities across the nation receive safe, reliable water,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “Today’s action by President Trump furthers our incredible efforts over the past three and a half years to cut bureaucratic red tape and improve water infrastructure.”

The formal establishment of the Water Subcabinet was applauded by the Family Farm Alliance, which hosted several members of an earlier, more informal version of the Subcabinet at the organization’s annual conference last February in Reno (NEVADA). At that event, Aubrey Bettencourt, Deputy to Tim Petty (Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Department of the Interior), acted as master of ceremonies for a 90-minute discussion, providing Western farmers and ranchers with a first-hand opportunity to see how the highest level water officials from multiple departments in the Trump Administration are coordinating on Western water challenges.

“An informal Water Subcabinet has been working together under this Administration for the past several years,” said Dan Keppen, Alliance Executive Director. “We are already seeing improved coordination among the multiple federal agencies who have jurisdiction over Western water matters. Formally establishing the Water Subcabinet with this executive order should further improve agency coordination and decision-making, necessary components to managing Western water resources and modernizing our aging water infrastructure.”

Members of the informal Water Subcabinet with Family Farm Alliance leadership in Reno (NEVADA) at the 2020 Family Farm Alliance Annual Conference, last February. From L to R—Bill Northey (Undersecretary, Dep’t of Agriculture), Brenda Burman (Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation),  Ryan Fisher (Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army), Patrick O’Toole (President, Family Farm Alliance), Dan Keppen (Executive Director, Family Farm Alliance), Tim Petty (Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Dep’t of Interior), Jim Reilly (Director, USGS); and David Ross (Assistant Administrator, Office of Water, EPA).

The new, formalized Water Subcabinet will be co-chaired by Interior Secretary Bernhardt and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and will include senior officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, and the Department of the Army (Civil Works). The Water Subcabinet will work in close coordination with senior officials from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and other federal agencies.

“President Trump is committed to making it easier for farmers be successful and to ensure they are the most innovative in the world,” said USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. “Today’s Executive Order is evidence of that commitment.”

CLICK HERE for the complete EPA press release.