The US government has unveiled $5.5 billion in new water infrastructure investments in the US, including the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Watershed Protection System, and the $10 billion National Infrastructure Improvement Project.
The projects were unveiled on Tuesday by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
“We are committed to building a smarter, safer, more resilient economy and a cleaner environment for future generations,” Kerry said.
Kerry said the projects are part of the US government’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation from “the threat of climate change and other hazards.”
“The United States is taking steps to protect our health, our environment, our economy, our workforce, and our way of life from climate change,” he said.
The $5bn in infrastructure investments are part to the US$100 billion US Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2017, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
The new projects come as the US continues to struggle with drought, which is the leading threat to the country’s ability to adapt to the changing climate.
In a statement, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the $5billion is a “significant step forward” in its efforts to cut greenhouse gas pollution.
“These $5 billions of dollars are part, in part, of the Clean Power Plan and the Clean Water Rule,” the EPA said in a statement.
“We look forward to continuing to build on the successes that these initiatives have already established.”
The $10bn National Infrastructure Improvements Project aims to improve the US’ water infrastructure by adding 1.3 million miles of new pipeline, transmission and distribution lines.
It is expected to be completed by 2021.
“The project will make the US more resilient to climate change, as well as helping the country reduce its dependence on foreign oil,” the US Department of Energy said in the statement.
The US has been struggling to meet its greenhouse gas emission targets as a result of the massive drought that has hit the US since 2014.
In addition to the Keystone and Watershed protection projects, the EPA also announced new projects that will help the US adapt to drought and other water scarcity issues.
“This will allow us to reduce the amount of water required for the production of power, while maintaining safe and effective irrigation systems,” the agency said in its statement.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the government was committed to “building a smarter and more resilient future for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.”
“This infrastructure investment will ensure our nation’s water infrastructure remains the best in the world, and helps us build a smarter future for all Americans,” he added.