Legislation Includes $200 Million for Alternative Water Source Grants and Federal Coordination on Water Reuse
Today, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021 (H.R. 1915), which will make major investments in water recycling programs and resources, and help communities across the country adopt water reuse as a resource management tool.
The legislation contains the WateReuse Association’s top policy priorities. First, it reauthorizes the Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot Program, which authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant up to $200 million per year to state, interstate, and intrastate water resource development agencies to engineer, design, construct, and test water reuse projects throughout the country. Second, it directs the EPA to establish a federal interagency working group on water reuse, which will break down silos, leverage resources throughout the federal family, and facilitate stakeholder engagement. In addition, the substitute amendment expands eligibility for the Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot Program to include certain projects that have previously received funding through the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI program.
“The WateReuse Association applauds Representatives DeFazio, Napolitano, and Fitzpatrick for developing strong, bipartisan legislation to improve our nation’s water recycling infrastructure,” said Patricia Sinicropi, Executive Director of the WateReuse Association. “The Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021 provides tools and investments to help communities address complex and evolving challenges through the adoption of water reuse.”
Communities across the country are incorporating water reuse into their water management strategies as a proven method for ensuring a safe, reliable, locally controlled water supply—essential for livable communities with healthy environments, robust economies and a high quality of life. Some important examples of how communities and businesses are increasingly turning to water reuse to stabilize their water management systems and ensure stronger and more resilient supplies include:
- By 2035, the City of Los Angeles expects to recycle 100% of its water supplies and reduce its reliance on costly imported water from the Colorado River.
- Truckee Meadows Water Authority in Reno is planning 13-mile pipeline to provide 1.3 billion gallons of recycled water annually to the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, home to Tesla, Switch and Google, and ensure 20,000 jobs remain in Nevada.
- The Hampton Roads region of Virginia, home to the largest concentration of military and naval installations, plans to recycle 100% of its effluent through an aquifer recovery system to prevent rising sea levels from threatening inundating the entire region.
WateReuse looks forward to working with the House and Senate in the coming weeks to finalize water infrastructure legislation that invests in critical water recycling infrastructure across the United States.
About WateReuse Association
The WateReuse Association is the nation’s only trade association solely dedicated to advancing laws, policy, funding, and public acceptance of recycled water. Our membership includes utilities that recycle water, businesses that support the development of recycled water projects, and consumers of recycled water.