President Trump signed an executive order on "Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure,” which ensures federal coordination on water policy and establishes a Water Subcabinet of senior federal agency officials to facilitate management and modernization of water supplies and systems while also eliminating duplication between agencies.
The Water Subcabinet will be co-chaired by U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and will include senior officials from USDA, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, and the Department of the Army. The Water Subcabinet will work in close coordination with senior officials from the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and other federal agencies as appropriate.
“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.
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;
- Promote 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.
The designees to the newly formed Water Subcabinet:
- Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary of Water and Science Dr. Tim Petty.
- EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey
- Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James
- U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel R. Simmons
- Deputy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Rear Admiral Gallaudet
What designees are saying
“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.
“Water is critical to farming and the success of Rural America," said USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. "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.”
View the executive order here.