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Argument: Water is a national security resource that states must be able to own and protect

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Supporting evidence

  • "National Plan for Water Security" (2007). Australian Government, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. - "The drought which now grips large parts of Australia is the most severe since records began. It has taken a drastic toll on the lives and livelihoods of many Australians. The current trajectory of water use and management in Australia is not sustainable...The National Plan for Water Security is a $10 billion package designed to ensure rural water use is placed on a sustainable footing over the next decade. It will significantly improve water management across the nation with a special focus on the Murray-Darling Basin, where the bulk of Australia's agricultural water use takes place."
Argument: The National Plan for Water Security in Australia would not be possible if Australia's water resources were not owned by the national government. Questions of the allocation and management of water resources would not be afforded to the Australian national government alone, but would rather be part of a larger international decision-making process. The problem is that the international community might know nothing about the specific circumstances of Australia's water shortages and the required management solution. The solution to Australia's water problems, therefore, would likely be compromised.
Across the country, water infrastructure systems extend over vast areas, and ownership and operation responsibility are both public and private but are overwhelmingly non-federal. Since the attacks, federal dam operators and water and wastewater utilities have been under heightened security conditions and are evaluating security plans and measures. There are no federal standards or agreed upon industry best practices within the water infrastructure sector to govern readiness, response to security incidents, and recovery. Efforts to develop protocols and tools are ongoing since the 2001 terrorist attacks. This report presents an overview of this large and diverse sector, describes security-related actions by the government and private sector since September 11, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest.
Policymakers are considering a number of initiatives, including enhanced physical security, better communication and coordination, and research. A key issue is how additional protections and resources directed at public and private sector priorities will be funded. In response, Congress has provided $548 million in appropriations for security at water infrastructure facilities (to assess and protect federal facilities and support vulnerability assessments by non-federal facilities) since FY2002 and passed a bill requiring drinking water utilities to conduct security vulnerability assessments (P.L. 107-188). When Congress created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2002 (P.L. 107-297), it gave DHS responsibilities to coordinate information to secure the nation’s critical infrastructure, including the water sector. Recent interest has focused on bills concerning security of wastewater utilities (H.R. 866, S. 1039 in the 108th Congress). Continuing attention to these issues in the 109th Congress is anticipated, along with interest in how the federal government coordinates its own activities and communicates policies and information to the water infrastructure sector. This report will be updated as warranted."
Argument: Such federal programs to protect water resources in the United States are only possible if national ownership is permitted.

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