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White House announces water conservation plan to support Western states: 'We will continue to prioritize these key values'

"Today's historic action … is made entirely possible by the President's Investing in America agenda."

"Today’s historic action ... is made entirely possible by the President’s Investing in America agenda."

Photo Credit: iStock

The Biden administration is making new strides to protect water systems in the western United States, which could be welcome news for farmers and residents in the region. 

The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation released a final SEIS (Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement) in March, showing new guidelines for operating the Hoover Dam and the Glen Canyon Dam to account for persistent droughts. The new proposal should conserve at least 3 million acre-feet of water over the next three years.

California's Lake Mead is set to conserve almost 400,000 acre-feet of water alone through the same period, and the Department of the Interior (DOI) has also made significant progress working with the Mexican government to maximize the security of the Colorado River System.

"The Biden-Harris administration has been working to bring every tool and every resource to bear as we seek to both minimize the impacts of drought and develop a long-term plan to facilitate conservation and economic growth," said Michael Brain, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, in a statement. 

"This Administration has held strong to its commitment to work with states, Tribes and communities throughout the West to find consensus solutions in the face of climate change and sustained drought. We will continue to prioritize these key values as we move forward in our long-term planning efforts," he added.  

Our planet's overheating is linked to extreme weather events like droughts, which have threatened water supplies in recent years. Significant policy updates like the DOIs will be vital to limit the impact of such events. The Biden administration has adopted several measures to reduce pollution driving these changes in climate, including the Inflation Reduction Act and further incentives for clean energy production.

"President Biden made a promise to the American people to invest in communities, bolster climate resiliency, and protect our nation's natural and cultural resources — and our collective efforts to protect the stability of the Colorado River System reflect significant efforts to uphold that promise," said Laura Daniel-Davis, the DOI Acting Deputy Secretary, in the news release. 

"Today's historic action to protect this precious resource and the communities that rely on it is made entirely possible by the President's Investing in America agenda, which is funding crucial projects to conserve water, increase the efficiency of water use, and upgrade existing infrastructure. As we close out this chapter on our short-term efforts, we look toward the future with eyes wide open on how to solve for the challenges that still lie ahead."  

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