Tester: Rural Montanans can’t wait years for water

Senator blasts Administration and Congress for neglecting water projects

(U.S. Senate) – During a hearing on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) budgets today, Senator Jon Tester told agency heads that they must prioritize water projects in rural America where access to water is a growing problem.

Tester criticized the Administration’s budget request for not prioritizing the Dry Prairie and North Central rural water projects, while also noting that Congress has more work to do.

“In Montana we’re in dire need of getting reliable, quality drinking water to places that don’t have it,” said Tester. “Access to water is critically important if we’re going to have a strong economy. It’s something that my parents’ generation understood. Unfortunately, folks here in Washington don’t get it.”

Last year, Tester introduced legislation to establish a guaranteed annual investment to construct rural water projects and today asked the BOR about its plans to complete the rural water projects in a reasonable timeframe.

Tester recently spoke at the Montana Rural Water Systems Conference in Great Falls about the importance of investing in rural water infrastructure.

Tester also recently announced nearly $3 million in Army Corps of Engineers grants for Montana water projects.