CEQ Announces Completion of Presidential Memorandum on Western Water Sustainability

Washington, September 29, 2020 | Doug Levine (202-225-2315)
Tags: Water

Today, members of the Western Caucus released the following statements after the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) announced the completion of the Presidential Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West.  

“As I often say, whisky is for drinking and water is for fighting. I applaud the Trump Administration for their work on prioritizing western water issues for the communities and businesses I represent. There are many opportunities to ease excessive federal regulations that stand in the way of securing a reliable water supply in the West and this Presidential Memorandum is a great step in that direction. Throughout my time in office I have worked to ensure the communities I represent in Rural Arizona have the water supply they need and I look forward to working with the Trump Administration to continue this work,” said Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul Gosar (AZ-04). 

“I applaud the completion of this critical directive by the Trump Administration, recognizing that the best stewards of our western waters are state and local officials. For decades, burdensome and conflicting regulations have prevented Wyoming communities from building water storage projects that are essential to our economy and our way of life. Instead of granting more authority to unelected Washington bureaucrats, the Administration has streamlined the regulatory process that will empower Wyoming’s ranchers, farmers, and small business. I remain committed to working in Congress to return power to the states and provide them with greater and more reliable regulatory certainty when it comes to managing our precious water resources,” said Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (WY-AL). 

“This executive action restores the principal objective of our water and power policy: creating an abundance of both.  California has not added major water storage facilities since completing the New Melones Dam in 1979, while in the intervening forty years our state’s population has nearly doubled.  By establishing reasonable timelines for environmental review, this executive action will ensure we can store more water during wet years for use in dry years.  I commend the Trump administration for its commitment to restoring common sense to our water and power public policy,” said Vice Chairman for Wildlife and Water Tom McClintock (CA-04).  

“The 2020 water year has been another difficult year for water users throughout California. Since issuing his executive order on Western Water in October 2018, President Trump has continually prioritized regulatory reform and building more water infrastructure - like Sites Reservoir. By supporting our farmers and water users of the Central Valley Project, State Water Project, and Klamath Irrigation Project, the Trump Administration is reinforcing nearly $50 billion in primarily rural economic activity. I am grateful for the steadfast commitment to maximizing water deliveries and development in the West,” said Vice Chairman for Agriculture and Chief Business Officer Doug LaMalfa (CA-01). 

“Federal water infrastructure makes our way of life possible throughout the West. Central Washington boasts one of the most productive agricultural regions in the country, and our farmers and ranchers would simply not be able to provide food and fiber for the world without a reliable supply of our most precious resource: water. The Presidential Memorandum, which called for the completion of the scientific environmental review for the Columbia River System Operations a year sooner than originally slated, is delivering certainty to not only our agriculture industry, but to the millions of people who rely on the clean and reliable power generated by our hydroelectric dams. I applaud President Trump and his Administration for working collaboratively to support our federal water infrastructure, ensure reliable water supply and delivery, and develop a plan for the future,” said Vice Chairman for Departments of Interior and  Energy Dan Newhouse (WA-04).

“Safe, reliable water resources are essential, particularly to rural areas needing to irrigate farmland. As the ranking member of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, we are working on federal policies that would remove burdensome regulations and allow more efficient use of surface water. This action by the Trump administration is a huge step forward in giving western communities access to reliable water supplies, and I look forward to continuing to support these efforts in Congress,” said Vice Chairman for Infrastructure and Forestry Bruce Westerman (AR-04). 

"I thank the Trump administration for its efforts in streamlining our western water infrastructure regulatory processes. Since day one, President Trump has taken action to address the needs of the West. Thanks to this action, farmers from across the West will continue have a reliable supply of water to help grow our economy," said Vice Chairman for Regulatory Reform Andy Biggs (AZ-05).  

“I applaud President Trump and his administration for addressing Western farmers' needs by streamlining critical water infrastructure projects and removing unnecessary regulatory burdens. These precedence setting actions will advance much-needed water reuse technology, improve the forecasting of water availability, and stabilize water and hydropower deliveries for the many generations to follow,” said Vice Chairman for Defense and Veterans Doug Lamborn (CO-05).  

“I applaud President Donald Trump and his Administration for modernizing our permitting process and prioritizing the West’s critical, carbon-free infrastructure. With the release of the Columbia River Power System’s Record of Decision, the science shows, yet again, that our hydropower system is crucial to our way of life in Idaho and the entire West,” said Congressman Russ Fulcher (ID-01). 

“I applaud the administration’s commitment to improving our water infrastructure. The actions completed under this order will help provide a sustainable and reliable long-term water supply for our western states, particularly for our communities and farmers in California,” said Congressman Paul Cook (CA-08). 

"Oregon and the Pacific Northwest are blessed with a river system that helps us transport goods and that generates 43 percent of our state's electricity. I am pleased that the Trump Administration successfully prioritized the completion of the most recent environmental review guiding operations of the Columbia River System, to protect fish and support clean, renewable energy in our region," said Congressman Greg Walden (OR-02). 

“President Trump has delivered on his promise to support water supply security throughout the West. From successful implementation of the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan to the biological opinions governing Central Valley Project Operations, this Administration has shown we can ensure abundant water supplies while continuing to protect our environment. I applaud these actions and look forward to continuing to work with the Trump Administration on sound water management policies that will secure a reliable and affordable water supply for southern California,” said Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42). 

Background Courtesy of CEQ 

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 more than $48 billion 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, completed in under two years, will support reliable water supplies for the American West and promote economic prosperity in the region.

More information from CEQ can be seen HERE

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