Since the beginning of this Administration, President Trump has demonstrated his commitment to modernizing our Nation’s infrastructure. Under his leadership, the Trump Administration has been implementing a One Federal Decision policy to improve coordination between Federal agencies on environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects, including water projects.
The President has specifically directed Federal agencies to work together to expedite ongoing environmental reviews in the western United States in order to meet the demands of water users, including to provide reliable water supplies for farms, families, businesses, and fish and wildlife; reduce flood risks; and generate dependable hydropower. He has also directed agencies to work together to encourage innovation, research, and the development of technology that improves water management.
Today, on National Hydropower Day, officials of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are coming together at the iconic Hoover Dam to advance hydropower. These officials are signing a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to identify and collaborate on hydropower technology research, development, and demonstration projects. The agencies will prepare an action plan that will consider the value of hydropower, workforce recruitment and training, water supply reliability, and optimizing environmental outcomes.
Hydropower is not only one of the oldest sources of energy—powering our Nation for more than 100 years—but it provides clean, renewable, reliable, and affordable energy for more than 30 million American homes. Beyond powering our homes, hydropower plants can also generate power immediately to our Nation’s energy grids, helping balance the grids and providing essential back-up power during electricity outages or disruptions.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to visit the Folsom Dam and Reservoir in central California with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers. I was able to see firsthand how critical the dam is for the surrounding community, providing necessary flood reduction as well as reliable power for the project and the region.
The development of modern, resilient infrastructure, including hydropower facilities, is a priority for this Administration. Rising 726 feet above the Colorado River, the Hoover Dam was the largest dam of its time and continues to generate clean and reliable energy for 1.3 million people in Nevada, Arizona, and California. The Hoover Dam was built in less than 5 years, which is less time than we currently spend completing an average environmental review for a major water infrastructure project.
To support the development of needed water projects and other infrastructure, this Administration has modernized and streamlined outdated regulations while ensuring environmental protection, and improved coordination between Federal agencies. Today’s Memorandum of Understanding will further such coordination and help ensure our Nation continues to advance the use of hydropower that will benefit our economy, environment, and communities now and in the coming decades.