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Federal Water Resource Management and Infrastructure

Modernizing the management of our Nation’s water resources and infrastructure improves the quality of life for every American. Under the Trump Administration, Federal agencies are coordinating like never before to help ensure that all Americans have access to safe, reliable water supplies essential for our communities, our economy, and for recreation and the environment.

Executive Order 13956

On October 13, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) 13956, titled “Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure.” This EO formally establishes an interagency Water Subcabinet that will streamline the Federal government’s approach to managing America’s water resources and work to upgrade our Nation’s water infrastructure, safeguard public health, and create jobs.

Presidential Memoranda on Promoting Reliable Supplies of Water in the West

To improve the reliability of water supplies for families, farmers, and cities across the West, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum in October 2018 directing Federal agencies to reduce regulatory burdens and promote efficient, coordinated environmental reviews of major water infrastructure projects in California, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington.

  • Water Infrastructure 
    • Section 2 of the October 2018 Presidential memorandum directed the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce to ensure that the long-term coordinated operations of the Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project be completed and that an updated Plan of Operations (Plan) and Record of Decision (ROD) be issued.
    • That Plan and ROD were issued on February 19, 2020.  On February 19, 2020, President Trump also issued a  Presidential memorandum, specifically for California, directing the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce to build on these actions, and to coordinate efforts to (a) develop water storage, capture more water during storm events, and give agricultural and municipal water users more regulatory certainty; and (b) fully implement recent steps undertaken to improve implementation of programs established pursuant to the Endangered Species Act.
  • Improving Forecasts of Water Availability
    • Section 3 of the October 2018 Presidential memorandum directed the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior to develop an action plan, in coordination with water experts and resource managers, to improve forecasts of water availability. In October 2019, Department of Commerce and the Department of the Interior released a Federal Action Plan for Improving Forecasts of Water Availability (Action Plan)
  • Water Reuse
    • Section 4 of the October 2018 Presidential Memorandum directed Federal agencies to improve use of technology to increase water reliability.  This included broader scale deployment of desalination technology, recycled water, and programs that promote and encourage innovation, research and development of technology that improve water management, and using best available science through real-time monitoring of wildlife and water deliveries.
    • Water reuse represents a major opportunity to support our nation’s communities and economy by bolstering safe and reliable water supplies for human consumption, agriculture, business, industry, recreation, and healthy ecosystems.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in conjunction with other Federal agencies including CEQ, announced a draft National Water Reuse Action plan for public comment in September 2019 and a final National Water Reuse Action Plan in February 2020.
    • Presidential Memorandum Completion