Improving Water Infrastructure

Improving Water Infrastructure

Improving Water Infrastructure. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

One thing we have plenty of here in the Pacific Northwest is waterways. And many of those are major contributors to the ag industry. Recently a Senate committee unanimously passed the Water Resources Development Act – known as WRDA - which authorizes new projects for flood protection, port improvement and upgrades to the nation’s aging locks and dams infrastructure.

WALMSLEY: It’s a pretty big deal, especially these days. There’s not a lot of common ground in Congress and Senator Boxer who is chairwoman of the committee and Senator Vitter who is the ranking member, two different ends of the ideological spectrum in Congress came together to produce a bill that was voted out unanimously from committee, which is a rare feat these days.

Farm Bureau’s transportation specialist Andrew Walmsley says the next stop will be the Senate floor in the next few weeks and action is expected in the House this summer.

WALMSLEY: I think folks are coming together and saying look this is important. We have locks and dams that were built back in the days of the Model T. We’ve improved our interstates. We need to do the same thing with our waterways.

He says already our locks are so outdated they’re not able to handle the larger tugboats and barges used in the world today and it’s just a matter of time until one of them fails. And Walmsley is hopeful Congress understands it makes no sense to let an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly transportation system deteriorate any more.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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