House Approves Bipartisan, Nature-Focused Water Bill
A water resources bill that expands investment in natural infrastructure cleared the House of Representatives today with broad, bipartisan support.
The legislation – S.1811, the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 – is a conferenced version of the Water Resources Development Act passed by the House in July and similar legislation approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in May.
The new bill authorizes 73 water resources development projects for study and construction. It updates U.S. Army Corps of Engineers policies to direct its investments to more resilient, nature-based approaches to flood risk reduction and water quality improvements. The bill prioritizes directing resources toward disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. It now goes to the Senate, which may take up the bill later this week.
The following is a statement by Jimmy Hague, senior water policy advisor at The Nature Conservancy:
“Today's passage is a major win for communities and nature. The challenges of a changing climate and aging infrastructure require us to think differently about how we build and rebuild. Nature-based solutions will not only lessen flood impacts but will also restore ecosystems, benefit communities and boost local economies. The smart, targeted strategies in this bill will leverage the power of nature to answer the country’s water infrastructure needs.
“We commend the bipartisan effort to reach an agreement that will not only benefit nature but target these investments where they are needed most. This bill will be a job creator and point our communities toward a more resilient, sustainable future. We urge the Senate to pass this bill and send it to the president for his signature by year’s end.”
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.