Thank you, Chairman Graves, Ranking Member Napolitano, and members of the committee for inviting me to testify on the role of federal agencies in building 21st-century water infrastructure. It is an honor and a privilege to contribute to this committee’s work.
Water is an essential element of our daily lives, and it plays a foundational role in the economy in everything from commercial navigation and recreation to industrial and agricultural production. Congress and federal agencies share a fundamental responsibility to ensure the ongoing protection and sustainable development of U.S. water resources.
The start of 115th Congress presents members with the opportunity to review the investments and policies needed to move the country forward in the coming years. And while the elections on November 8th produced a change in leadership in Washington, one thing remains clear above all else: No one walked into the voting booth demanding dirtier water, lower wages, and higher profits for Wall Street. And yet, weakening the Clean Water Act, eliminating Davis-Bacon prevailing wage standards, and pushing high-cost equity capital through public-private partnerships would do all those things. Rather than undoing the environmental progress of recent decades, this Congress has a clear mandate to build a stronger, cleaner future for our communities by providing direct funding to improve water quality and reliability, flood control, and navigation in a sustainable way.This article was originally published in House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.