Ok. So Donald Trump staged the greatest upset in US political history with his election as the 45th President of the United States. Some are happy. Some are sad. As usual, and I suspect unfortunately, about this US citizens are split 50-50.
Politics, grants, and fundraising for Clean Water Warrior (CWW) aside, what does the election of Donald Trump mean for clean water initiatives across the USA?
Presently, the news is not good. But this may change.
The Not Good News
On clean water pollution and Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs), it is 100% certain Donald Trump does not know what he’s talking about. Case in point: because it is a hot-spot for clean water issues, we often reference Lake Okeechobee in FL. As it turns out, when President-Elect Trump campaigned in FL, he presented his (ignorant, and incorrect) opinion on how to resolve the problems with the beleaguered lake:
“My administration will address important environmental priorities like the Everglades and ensure quality water all across America, including the fixing of water problems like Lake Okeechobee,” Trump said, according to an article from the Miami New Times. “It’s amazing. You know, Lake Okeechobee, they’re always letting the water out. Do you ever notice we always have droughts? They’re always letting the water out. I said keep it in! We won’t have any droughts.”
I could explain why he is wrong, completely wrong, with this non-solution. But I will instead reference Dale Gawlik, professor and director of Florida Atlantic University’s Environmental Science Program, an expert who says Trump’s idea will hurt Lake O.
“If you were completely uncaring about the ecology of Lake Okeechobee and the fish and birds that live there and just view it as a big holding tank of water, what he’s saying could have some merit,” Gawlik told the New Times.
“The lake can’t go above a certain level because of the structural integrity of the lake, so you’re capped out there. We’re already almost there. What (Trump’s) suggesting is you throw out all the ecological importance, which is tied to a lot of tourism and industry there, and just look at drought alone.”
Ignorance is bliss and, apparently, not a hindrance to getting elected President of the United States. Even in Florida where, despite his zero knowledge about the single most important ecological piece of land and water IN THE STATE, he won the electoral votes.
So … knowing almost nothing about the national clean water crisis is the “not good” news. But, hold on. With President-Elect Trump there IS good news. Really good news.
He is building his platform on improving the infrastructure of the United States. Making it the best in the world, he says.
The Good News
If Donald Trump can be held accountable for words spoken and vows pledged during his successful campaign, infrastructure improvements sit atop his to-do list.
As each of these projects commence via a cooperative effort of Federal and State government, and private industry, clean water will at times be an unavoidable part of the planning.
Though they have nothing to do with Trump, exciting clean water infrastructure programs are already underway via support from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Can we expect even more attention and funding like this during President Trump’s term?
The man staged the greatest political upset in American history. If he is smart enough to do that, he can certainly learn the basics about HABs, and how to combat them.
I believe he will and, if so, the USA will lead the way in curbing in some places, and eliminating in others, HAB activity.
Leading the way in providing solutions for cleaner, safer water.
That will be a huge step in Trump’s mission to make America great again.