AMWA Cheers Water Infrastructure, Adaptation Legislation

February 20, 2013

Proposals Will Strengthen Water Infrastructure

Washington, D.C. – The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) today cheered the recent introduction of two new bills that will help the nation’s drinking water utilities rebuild their infrastructure and prepare for changing hydrological conditions.

The first bill, H.R. 765, the “Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act of 2013,” is sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.). The legislation will authorize a new EPA program that will aid water systems in adapting to the impacts of changing hydrological conditions – including those resulting from global climate change.

“In the decades ahead, the nation’s water and wastewater systems are expected to face a series of water quality and quantity challenges brought on by severe drought, melting snowpack, more frequent heavy precipitation events, and rising sea levels,” said Diane VanDe Hei, AMWA’s Executive Director. “The ‘Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act’ will help communities access the tools they need to maintain clean and safe water service despite these new obstacles.”

AMWA and a coalition of water utility and environmental organizations recently wrote to Rep. Capps in support of her legislation.

Also winning AMWA’s support is S. 335, the “Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2013,” which is commonly known as “WIFIA.” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) sponsored the legislation, which will supplement the existing Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs by offering low interest, direct-from-EPA loans for a wide range of major water infrastructure projects.

“WIFIA is designed to think big,” said VanDe Hei. “The program will provide a new stream of low-cost loans to America’s cities, helping these communities rebuild their aging water infrastructure in the while utilizing rock-bottom interest rates. WIFIA will save ratepayer dollars, deliver first-class water infrastructure, and create thousands of construction jobs where they are needed most.”

The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies is an organization of the largest publicly owned drinking water suppliers in the United States.

Contact: Dan Hartnett