BIPARTISAN LETTER TO URGE INCLUSION OF WATER INFRASTRUCTURE IN HOUSE PACKAGE

May 24, 2019
Press Release

 

Chairman DeFazio and Ranking Member Graves,

 

We write to express our support and our willingness to work with you to ensure the inclusion of much-needed water infrastructure provisions in any forthcoming infrastructure package.  As the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee considers a comprehensive package, it is vital that water infrastructure be included to address our nation’s most severe hydrological challenges.  Rightfully so, Americans across the country demand a safe and reliable water supply.  In recent years, this is especially true for the western United States, where severe drought continues to threaten water delivery, farm and ranching production, and the American way of life.

 

Over the last decade, even with above-average precipitation in several regions across the United States, we continue to see drought conditions.  Because of this, we ask that any infrastructure package continue the bipartisan successes of legislation signed into law earlier this year.  S. 47, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act included authorizations for federal water projects and provisions for the management and conservation of our nation’s natural resources, including water.  We hope, based on the water needs assessed in the western United States and across the nation, the Committee will build upon bipartisan support for tackling these challenges and include water storage and water conservation projects in any final bill.

 

In addition to the vital need for storage and conservation projects, we must also develop and invest in our water delivery systems.  For farmers and ranchers, water is essential to their livelihood and ensures that all Americans have an affordable, safe, and reliable food supply.  With the increase in demand for a robust and diverse food supply, and without reliable water to provide for our farmers and ranchers, there is no guarantee that American consumers can continue to receive the same high-quality and safe products they need to provide for their families.

 

A comprehensive package must also include policies and processes to streamline the ability of our communities to move forward with the construction or implementation of these water delivery systems in an expeditious manner.  Rather than allowing the status quo to continue to hamstring water infrastructure rehabilitation and development, equipping water providers with the tools to efficiently address water shortages will provide important and desperately-needed services for our constituents.  By streamlining outdated, burdensome processes, we can also ensure federal taxpayer dollars are being invested efficiently while adeptly tackling the severe water challenges facing communities across the country.

 

Over the span of the past several decades, our country’s water infrastructure has fallen deeply behind due to the lack of federal investments. We must deliver on this shortfall by answering the needs of our constituents. With investments in our water infrastructure, we can ensure that our constituents have a long-term and reliable water supply for generations to come.  As the Committee considers a comprehensive infrastructure package, we stand ready to work with you to ensure our nation’s water needs are addressed in this important effort.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Dan Newhouse

Jim Costa

Member of Congress

Member of Congress