Family Farm Alliance, a national coalition of more than 200 agricultural organizations and urban and rural water districts sent letters yesterday, urging President-elect Joe Biden and congressional leadership to address aging Western water infrastructure as a part of any potential infrastructure or economic recovery package.
The letters express the fact that existing Western water infrastructure is in desperate need of rehabilitation and improvement with most federal water projects built more than 50 years ago. The Coalition went on, “without immediate attention, the Western water system will quickly prove inadequate to meet the needs of urban and rural users and the environment.”
“Water is the lifeblood of the West. Without reliable and affordable water supplies, every sector of our economy would suffer – from agriculture, to manufacturing and high-tech, to local community needs. As Congress and President-elect Biden considers an infrastructure stimulus package, it is of paramount importance that maintenance, rehabilitation and development of water infrastructure is a high priority,” said Family Farm Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen.
In addition to funding, the coalition has also called on the federal government to streamline the regulation and permitting process for construction of vital infrastructure projects.
The Family Farm Alliance includes organizations from 15 states that collectively represent $120 billion in agricultural production, nearly one-third of all agricultural production in the country, and tens of millions of urban and rural water users.
A copy of the letter to President-elect Joe Biden can be viewed here.