This week, President Trump signed an executive order seeking to modernize water management and infrastructure. The order creates a Water Policy Committee that the White House calls the Water Subcabinet. The subcabinet will be co-chaired by the Secretary of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. The committee also includes the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, the Secretary of the Army, and the heads of other agencies.

Of note for agriculture, the order seeks to improve coordination between state and federal governments and communities, farmers, ranchers and landowners, to “develop voluntary, market-based water and land management practices and programs that improve conservation efforts, economic viability, and water supply, sustainability, and security.”

USDA Undersecretary Bill Northey said, “USDA has already taken the lead to invest in America’s wetlands,” adding that work improves water quality, soil health and wildlife habitat. The new effort will develop a national water strategy to ensure the reliability of water supplies, water quality, water systems, and water forecasting.

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