Donald Trump signs executive order to modernise America’s water resource management and water infrastructure

Photo credits to Nik Shuliahin.

US President Donald Trump recently signed an Executive Order on “Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure.” This 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 modernisation of our water supplies and systems while also eliminating duplication between agencies.

The Water Subcabinet will be co-chaired by U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior) Secretary David 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 (DOC), the Department of Energy (DOE), 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 (OMB), and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and other federal agencies as appropriate.

“Clean, reliable, and safe water supplies are essential for our communities, our economy, and our environment,” said CEQ Chairman Mary Neumayr. “By establishing the Water Subcabinet, President Trump is bringing key policymakers together who will coordinate actions to streamline needs of our Nation. Once again, the Trump Administration is taking action to deliver practical results for the American people.”

“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 L. 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 Federal Government has the responsibility to ensure all Americans, regardless of their zip code, have access to reliable sources of clean and safe water,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By creating the Water Subcabinet, President Trump is supporting 21st century water infrastructure that will provide all Americans with safe drinking water and surface water protection.”

“From the very early days of the Administration, President Trump has recognised the importance of the energy-water nexus to U.S. economic competitiveness,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “Through the President’s Water Security Grand Challenge, DOE has advanced transformational technology and innovation to help meet the domestic and global need for safe, secure and affordable water through collaboration between industry and our 17 National Labs. DOE looks forward to continuing this work in coordination with the newly established Water Subcabinet.”

“The Water Subcabinet will enhance collaboration among the Federal agencies responsible for our nation’s water management, allowing for a more effective and efficient environmental and economic balance of our nation’s water resources for all users,” said R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. “This Administration’s focus on streamlining and reducing duplication between Federal agencies will benefit the American people by the coordinated modernisation of our Nation’s water infrastructure and water resource management.”

“It is essential that Americans have access to clean, safe, and reliable water resources. Streamlining and modernising water management will foster innovation in water forecasting and research, bolster the resilience of our water infrastructure, promote efficiency across the Federal Government, enhance public health, and create jobs. I commend President Trump’s strong leadership as well as the collective efforts across the Administration on this important issue,” said OSTP Director Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier

“President Trump is committed to making it easier for farmers be successful and to ensure they are the most innovative in the world. Today’s Executive Order is evidence of that commitment,” said USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. “Water is critical to farming and the success of Rural America. USDA has already taken the lead to invest in America’s wetlands through projects that inspire creative problem-solving that boosts production on farms, ranches, and private forests – ultimately improving water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat.”

Under the Executive Order, the Water Subcabinet will:

  • Promote effective and efficient water resources management by reducing duplication between Federal agencies developing water policy;
  • Develop a national water strategy to ensure the reliability of our water supplies, water quality, water systems, and water forecasting;
  • Protect taxpayer investments and improve water infrastructure planning by promoting integrated planning and coordination for drinking water, wastewater, water reuse, water storage and delivery, and water resource management; and
  • Support and enhance workforce development to recruit, train, and retain water sector professionals.