Johnson shows support for rural water systemsPIERRE — Sen. Tim Johnson pledged his continued support for rural water systems that bring clean drinking water to South Dakotans during an appearance in Pierre Thursday.
By: News release, Office of Sen. Tim Johnson
PIERRE — Sen. Tim Johnson pledged his continued support for rural water systems that bring clean drinking water to South Dakotans during an appearance in Pierre Thursday.
Johnson, a member of the Senate Appropriations and Energy and Natural Resources Committees, gave a speech to the South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems annual meeting.
“Safe, clean drinking water, and the systems that provide it are absolutely indispensable to the quality of life we enjoy here in South Dakota,” Johnson said.
“Investing in our drinking water infrastructure creates construction jobs in the short term,” he said. “And over the long term, these water projects facilitate economic growth, allowing new businesses and residents the basic services they need to locate and thrive in South Dakota.”
Johnson recently backed a plan that would provide $80 million in mandatory annual funding for authorized rural water projects like the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System through the Authorized Rural Water Projects Completion Act.
“Yes, we most definitely need to make additional spending cuts,” he said. “But I have said many times that we should do so with a scalpel instead of an ax. We have to tighten our belt — but not at the expense of infrastructure that creates construction jobs in the short term, and facilitates private sector growth over the long term.”
The Authorized Rural Water Projects Completion Act would establish the Reclamation Rural Water Construction Fund within the Bureau of Reclamation. Each year from 2014 through 2029, the Treasury would deposit $80 million into the Fund from money that would otherwise be put into the Reclamation Fund.
That money would be available without further appropriation for construction activities on authorized rural water projects, providing much greater certainty to the projects.