Reauthorize program and provide $50 million in funding for Fiscal Year 2022.
Title XVI of the Reclamation Projects Authorization and Adjustment Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-575), commonly referred to as Title XVI, is the only federal program that provides funding specifically for water reuse projects in 17 western states and Hawaii. Participants can use the funds for planning, design and construction of water reuse projects in partnership with local government entities.
Since the program was enacted, approximately $700 in million federal funding has been leveraged with more than $3.3 billion in non-federal funding to design and construct water recycling projects, adding hundreds of thousands of acre-feet to the nation’s water supply.
In 2016, the Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation (WIIN) Act modernized Title XVI into a competitive grant program with congressional oversight. The new model will ensure the best projects receive funding. Current demand for federal cost share through Title XVI-WIIN outstrips available funding by more than $700 million.
The program is administered by the Bureau of Reclamation within the U.S. Department of Interior.
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Communities can leverage federal funding to finance needed water infrastructure. Water projects funded through the Title XVI program have been used to increase the supply of fresh drinking water, generate sustainable irrigation water for landscaping and agricultural use, restore sensitive ecosystems, and help industries expand and create jobs, among other purposes. The program is not limited to the reuse of municipal wastewater – it also helps communities identify beneficial uses for industrial, agricultural, and domestic wastewater, as well as impaired ground and surface water. Investments through the Title XVI competitive grants program have helped both urban and rural communities across the West build a strong and secure economic future.
A recent GAO report (GAO-19-110) highlighted a number of illustrative Title XVI projects. For example, program investments helped one drought-stricken water district in California develop infrastructure to store more than 2 billion gallons of recycled water, which it uses to irrigate sports fields, golf courses, parks, school grounds, and medians. Another project is providing drought-resistant recycled water to farmers to irrigate 45,000 acres of farmland, reducing demand on the area’s over-drafted groundwater basin. Other Title XVI projects have been used to cool power plants, deal with saltwater intrusion issues, restore marshes, wetlands, and other habitat, and create potable drinking water.
To learn more about how the WateReuse Association’s advocacy efforts, visit Advocacy in Action.