News | March 28, 2019

Water Sector Urges Congress, White House To Increase Investment In Infrastructure, Research, And Reuse

The nation’s leading water and public works organizations — representing the full spectrum of water issues, research fields, and utilities from every part of the country — are gathering in the nation’s capital during Water Week 2019 (March 31-April 6) to urge Congress and the Trump Administration to increase investment in water infrastructure, research, and reuse.

Hundreds of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater professionals will take to Capitol Hill during a series of Water Week 2019 events to meet with lawmakers and advocate for national policies that advance clean, safe, affordable, and sustainable water for all Americans. (Full events list follows).

Water sector organizations are calling on Congress to:

  • Increase the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) appropriation and reauthorize the program in 2019
  • Fund the Drinking Water SRF at the fully authorized level of $1.3B in FY2020
  • Fund the Water Infrastructure Finance & Innovation Act (WIFIA) program at its fully authorized level of $50M in FY2020
  • Provide $20M for the National Priorities Water Research Grant Program
  • Increase the authorization for the Bureau of Reclamation water reuse and recycling competitive grants program and appropriate $100M in FY2020
  • Fund United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utility Service Water/Wastewater Loans at $2B and Grants at $500M
  • Protect full funding for water quality conservation and source water protection programs in the USDA National Resources Conservation Service
  • Fully fund new grant programs created in America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018

Water Week 2019 comes as water resources and systems face growing challenges that include aging infrastructure, increased water quality concerns, workforce shortages, and climate change impacts. Access to clean, safe and reliable water is a vital need that impacts every American, every day. Since water is imperative to public health and the economy, it is critical that the federal government elevate water as a national policy and funding priority.

National Water Policy Fly-In
April 3 – 4, 2019
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill

The National Water Policy Fly-In serves as the anchor event for Water Week. Presented jointly by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), The Water Research Foundation (WRF), and the WateReuse Association, it is the most widely attended national policy event for water professionals to advocate on behalf of clean water utilities. As has been made clear by recent comments from President Trump and congressional leaders in the new Congress, there is strong interest in Washington to advance a bipartisan infrastructure package during 2019. This would build off the momentum of major advocacy wins in 2018, such as the bipartisan passage of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act.

WWEMA 46th Washington Forum
April 3-5, 2019
Mandarin Oriental

This is WWEMA’s annual legislative, regulatory, and policy meeting that directly connects members and attendees to leaders in the industry and government including Congress, EPA, and the Department of Commerce. The theme for the meeting is Creating a Roadmap for an Uncertain Future. Attendees be hearing from experts on nutrients, the EPA regulatory agenda, PFAS/PFOA, the political landscape, the economy, American Iron and Steel and Buy American requirements, trade, and infrastructure.

Phosphorus Forum 2019
April 5, 2019
ASU Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center

Stockholm Water Prize co-recipient Professor Bruce Rittmann will be providing a keynote at this day-long knowledge-sharing and networking event near the Capitol. Among other activities, we the Phosphorus Alliance will present its analysis of state land application regulations for biosolids and manure and unveil an associated online tool. Participants will include scientists, water utilities, NGOs focused on water quality issues, nutrient recovery technology companies, fertilizer manufacturers, food producers, farm consultants, government regulators, agricultural suppliers, phosphate mining companies, and others.

SOURCE: Water Environment Federation