So, for those unaware (which may be a lot because it was a pretty minor change) Drowned got their loot tables adjusted a snapshot or two ago. Now instead of dropping gold ingots, they instead drop copper ingots.
This fixes two big things. The first is that copper is now a lot easier to get, and can actually be farmed! This is the thing copper needed in order for it to become a worthwhile building block: The ability to acquire it in large quantities. My hope is that perhaps the copper chance gets upped even more to make it more common, since copper's only use at the moment is building and one redstone component.
However, another thing worth mentioning about this change is a lot more controversial, and is the topic of this post. There is now a reason to use Drowned farms.
Now, don't get me wrong: In the early-ish game of Minecraft, Drowned farms are a worthwhile investment of time and energy. Tridents are absurdly powerful weapons that feel amazing to use. But one problem with them is that they are weapons. Meaning that they are expected (and do) have a long shelf-life. Mending is not a hard enchantment to get. (Tedious, but not hard.) If you slap mending on a trident, which if you know what you're doing could be done within a few hours of the game, then you are never going to lose that trident. Combine loyalty or riptide and now you've turned your Drowned farm into a collection of rotten flesh and nautilus shells, neither of which are particularly useful items.
I'd argue that building a Drowned farm can actually make the game less fun. This is personal opinion, but I enjoy the concept of going out into the world and exploring to try and find Drowned in order to get tridents and the components to make a conduit. While building farms can be fun, I'd argue it's not as much so. And even once you do build a Drowned farm, it becomes obsolete after a short period of time.
TL;DR: Build a drowned farm in 1.17 when it comes out if you wanna flex on your friends with copper. I do sincerely hope they make copper more common though.