Murkowski: Investments in Water Infrastructure and Management Systems Vital to Protecting Communities from Drought

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing to examine the western water outlook for 2018 and three bills to upgrade water infrastructure, management, and storage systems to ensure our communities have access to clean, reliable water supplies.

“For over a decade, the West has suffered through drought conditions. Changing climate conditions and weather patterns appear to be making matters worse,” Murkowski said. “There’s no question that we need to overhaul and modernize America’s infrastructure. Drought resiliency is simply not possible with insufficient and aging water systems that do not function properly. We understand this in Alaska. Water scarcity is felt by communities that have plenty of water, whether it’s Wrangell or Metlakatla, but without the necessary infrastructure to capture and transport it, you’re stuck.

“With infrastructure as a foundation, we can also look to flexible water management practices and innovative tools and techniques to build drought resilience and multiply the resilience benefits for our communities. The three bills before us today will move us closer to our goals of modern infrastructure and a flexible, responsive water management strategy.”

The committee received testimony on the following water infrastructure and drought resilience bills:

  • S. 2539, a bill to amend the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015, to reauthorize certain projects to increase Colorado River System water;
  • S. 2560, the Reclamation Title Transfer Act of 2018; and
  • S.2563, the Water Supply Infrastructure and Drought Resilience Act of 2018.

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. An archived video and testimony from today’s hearing are available on the committee’s website. Click here and here for Murkowski’s questions for witnesses.

Related Issues: Energy