President’s Executive Order Establishes USEPA Water Subcabinet
Last week, the President signed an Executive Order (EO) on “Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure.” The EO establishes an interagency federal Water Policy Committee, or Water Subcabinet, to better coordinate federal agencies’ water resource management and infrastructure policies and actions. The Subcabinet will be co-chaired by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Department of the Interior (USDOI) Secretary David Bernhardt and will be comprised of senior officials from USEPA, USDOI, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, and the Department of the Army Civil Works. To ensure coordination across the government, the Subcabinet will also work closely with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Science and Technology Policy. The Subcabinet’s mission is to ensure that the federal government develops and delivers efficient and effective water management practices that support the modernization of the nation’s water supplies and infrastructure systems.

Additionally, the increased coordination will avoid duplication of policies among the agencies. To achieve these goals, the Subcabinet will focus on three topics:

  • Modernizing America’s Infrastructure – Streamline the federal government’s approach to managing water resources, while also upgrading and safeguarding water infrastructure, and modernize current water resources management practices to increase reliability of water supplies.
  • Improving The Nation’s Water Resource Management – Develop a national water strategy that enhances water storage, water supply, and drought resiliency; improves water quality, source water protection, nutrient management, and restoration activities; supports innovation and modernization of water systems (including wastewater, drinking water, water reuse, desalination, and flood control); advance water data management, research, modeling, and forecasting. Additionally, the Subcabinet will determine and recommend agency actions that promote coordination and planning for Federal investments in water infrastructure.
  • Creating Opportunities For American Water Workers – Coordinate with other federal agencies to provide assistance and technical support to States, local communities, Tribes, and non-governmental entities to improve nation’s water workforce.