Trump Administration Announces Completion of Actions Under the Presidential Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West
Press Release Provided by Council on Environmental Quality
On September 29, 2020, White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chairman Mary Neumayr joined the Departments of the Interior (Interior), Commerce (DOC), Energy (DOE), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in announcing the completion of all actions directed by the October 2018 Presidential Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West (Western Water PM).
Under President Trump’s directive, agencies efficiently coordinated to complete the environmental reviews of major water infrastructure projects in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, to meet the needs of agricultural communities and other water users within the region. Federal water projects in the West irrigate millions of acres of farmland, provide water and power to millions, and support tens of billions in economic activity. The President also directed agencies to convene experts and develop an action plan to improve forecasting of water availability and promote the expanded use of technology for improving the accuracy and reliability of water and power deliveries. The actions in the Western Water PM, which were completed in under two years, will support reliable water supplies for the American West and promote economic prosperity in the region.
“After decades of uncoordinated regulatory actions, President Trump promised that his Administration would streamline regulatory processes to support reliable water supplies for families, farmers, and communities in the West. Just two years later, we have fulfilled this promise,” said CEQ Chairman Mary Neumayr. “Thanks to the agencies’ close and efficient coordination, they have completed environmental reviews for major water projects, as well as advanced technologies to support reliable water supplies, which will benefit our economy, environment and current and future generations of Americans.”
“President Trump called on us to provide safe, reliable water for our Nation’s families, farms, and communities. In fulfilling this Presidential Memorandum, we achieved each and every directive through unmatched coordination and collaboration across Federal agencies,” said Interior Assistant Secretary for Water & Science Dr. Tim Petty. “We are modernizing our water projects, policies, science and technology, and way of doing business to better meet the demands of the American West.”
“Partners across the West Coast have worked hard to balance multiple demands on water for flood risk reduction; reliable flows for farms, families, and municipalities; dependable hydropower; and cultural needs for Native American tribes; while protecting threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead,” said retired Navy Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “Doing its part, NOAA collaborated with other Federal, State, and Tribal agencies, farmers, and local communities to improve information and modeling capabilities, streamline regulatory processes and ensure reliable water supplies across the West. We will continue applying our advances in science and technology to focus actions where they will make the most positive impact.”
“Water is a critical resource that is necessary for human health, agricultural productivity, and economic growth,” said DOE Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel R. Simmons. “We are pleased to support the Western Water PM’s objectives to improve technology and investment in water supplies and local hydroelectric projects. Through the Water Security Grand Challenge, where we are working together with our partners to develop technological solutions to meet the need for safe, secure, and affordable water and enhance America’s economic growth and energy security.”
“In full partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expedited the completion of the Columbia River System Operations Environmental Impact Statement,” said Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James. “Having received thousands of thoughtful comments by the public, we are able to meet the varying needs and interests of Columbia River Basin users in the context of science as envisioned by the Presidential Memorandum on Western Water.”
“EPA is proud to support our Federal partners in developing actions to help ensure a safe and reliable supply of water in the western United States,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water David Ross. “Through close coordination and collaboration, we are working to deliver historic water achievements, including the National Water Reuse Action Plan, which is advancing water reuse technology to diversify water supplies and ensure the viability of our water economy for generations to come.”
On October 19, 2018, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West.
Pursuant to the Western Water PM, agencies completed environmental reviews required for the Central Valley Project and California State Water Project, and the Columbia River System Operations.