Early this week, President Donald Trump signed a bill into law authorizing more than $6 billion in spending to improve the nation’s water infrastructure. Idaho senators praised the bill early this month.
America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 authorizes 10 years of water infrastructure project spending and increases local input on large water projects such as flood control, navigation and environment restoration projects run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The bipartisan law allows for the Army Corps to authorize, modify and expedite water resource projects nationwide. It also aims to increase water storage in the West as well as build dams, reservoirs and improve irrigation systems.
Congress approved the bill nearly unanimously with a 99-1 vote. Both U.S. senators from Idaho, Republicans Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, voted in favor.
The two senators praised the bill earlier this month in a press release noting subsequent upgrades to Idaho waterways, irrigation systems and dams. The bill, they said, “will help ensure water delivery to Idaho ranches and farms and will increase water storage in the West.”
“Anyone who uses so much as a drop of water in Idaho will benefit from this common-sense legislation,” Risch said in a statement. “This bill will help improve Idaho’s water infrastructure and bring more state and local control to our projects.”
The law will propel Idaho state projects such as the development of a flood prevention action plan for states in the Snake River Basin, as well as restoration and invasive species prevention in the Columbia River Basin, stated the release.