Importance of Water Infrastructure
As we spend time with family and friends this Christmas season—tromping through the snow to get a Christmas tree, skiing, snow shoeing, sledding, ice skating, or just shoveling snow and ice off of our driveways and sidewalks—the snow we recreate in and move around translates into significant water resources and development for our state. Federal policy must enable the local decisions that best determine the management of these critical resources.
Snowfall in Idaho’s mountains feeds most Idaho waterways, and our water supply is critical to our economy and productivity. Water not only sustains Idaho’s existing population, but also feeds Idaho’s growth and development, contributing to Idaho being the fastest growing state. Water makes possible Idaho’s vast and diverse agriculture production; supports a multitude of fish and wildlife populations, helping to boost our tourism industry; and produces power that diversifies our energy sources and helps meet the need for domestic energy production.
This fall, with overwhelmingly, bipartisan support, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law S. 3021, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. The law supports and advances critical water infrastructure projects across the nation and right here in Idaho. The America’s Water Infrastructure Act will help eliminate regulatory hurdles on projects involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, improve our inland waterways, dams and agricultural irrigation delivery systems, and provide communities the ability to maintain and improve water infrastructure systems. Importantly, the law also removes unnecessary red tape, making billions of dollars in deauthorizations of outdated and not locally backed projects to help reduce the deficit.
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