YAKIMA — Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee about the significance for improving western water systems on Wednesday, May 1.

He spoke specifically in regards of the ongoing efforts to enhance water availability in Central Washington’s Lower Yakima Valley and the Columbia River basin.

Newhouse voiced his recommendation to add water infrastructure, investment and modernization as part of the Federal government’s $1.5 trillion proposal aimed at rebuilding the nation’s dilapidated roads, bridges and other components which have fallen into disrepair.

“We have a tremendous need by communities which continue to grow and agriculture to thrive,” Newhouse added. “There’s a lot of communities around the west that are in similar positions.”

Following his committee report and within about three weeks, Newhouse had obtained collaborative support from 54 members of Congress, including Jim Costa (D-CA) who shared similar water concerns and western objectives of what infrastructure should encompass.

The two congressmen led a bipartisan letter to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to urge inclusion of much-needed water infrastructure provisions in any forthcoming infrastructure package on Friday, March 24.

The proactive letter was also sent to the House Natural Resources Committee.

“Severe droughts have threatened water delivery, farm and ranching production, and our rural way of life,” Newhouse announced from an issued statement.

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email PShelby@SunnysideSun.com

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