The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) supports federal, state and local efforts to develop clear, coherent, coordinated goals for the protection of vital wetlands. However, some usage of wetlands for water supply is vital to the well-being of the nation. AMWA supports the concept of “no net loss” and appropriate mitigation programs when wetlands must be used to meet water supply and other essential needs and the need to promote the preservation of ground water recharge areas from potential development. One primary goal should be the streamlining of application and approval policies and procedures so that public time and funds are expended efficiently in meeting public water supply needs.
- Wetlands are an extremely valuable link in ecosystems supporting wildlife, fisheries and other aquatic resources. They provide food, breeding and wintering grounds for waterfowl, sustain nearly one-third of the nation’s threatened or endangered species, and provide exceptional biological productivity. Wetlands also provide valuable recreation and outdoor space areas.
- Wetlands are inseparably related to the supply of safe, high quality drinking water. Wetlands may be central to local and regional hydrologic cycles serving to filter sediment, remove pollutants, recharge aquifers, control flooding and reduce erosion. Water intake structures, reservoirs and other facilities must often, by their nature, be located in or utilize wetland areas. Such use is appropriate with proper mitigation since water supplies provide essential public benefits.
- Because of the nature and public benefit of many water supply projects, timely action and decisions are necessary so that public funds are not misdirected and public needs can ultimately be met. To ensure appropriate and efficient use of public funds, streamlined laws, regulations, policies and procedures are needed.