Trump makes water demand of farms priority for new office
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump established what he called a federal water subcabinet with a mandate which involves water usage reforms pursued by corporate farms and oil and gas interests.
The Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Authority Andrew Wheeler were requested by the Executive Authority of Trump.
EPO claimed in a statement that the establishment by federal agencies of a water sub-cabinet "shall ease decision-making processes."
The first goals identified by this Executive Order consist of raising dam capacity and other storage of water, and in particular of farmers and agricultural interests in the West. This includes the Westlands Water District of California, the nation's biggest agricultural water district.
Interior spokesperson Nicholas Goodwin questioned if the change was to help his old client or represent a conflict for Bernhardt, "the secretary is willing to retain his legal and ethical obligations."
The Department of Interior said that Bernhardt had already violated legal guidelines and regulations for acts of the federal government concerning both the water district and former customers.
Environmental organizations argue that the quantity of water that corporate farmers demand will leave their ecosystems and biodiversity lacking adequate water.
A recent interagency directive has introduces a water reuse strategy. One element of the strategy has been endorsed by oil & gas producers and will make it easier for them to disposed of briny waste oilfield wastewater sometimes filled with chemicals on crops or in aquifers.