Home\Advocacy\Congress Finalizes Appropriations for FY 2023, Including Funding for Water Reuse 

Congress Finalizes Appropriations for FY 2023, Including Funding for Water Reuse 

Date: January 09, 2023

On December 29, President Biden signed into law the FY 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which provides discretionary spending for water recycling programs for the remainder of FY 2023. The funding comes on top of funding provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA). What follows is a summary of the major takeaways from the final package, including both the highlights and the lowlights:  

Western Water Reuse 

Our first key takeaway is that Congress continues to invest in Western water reuse programs administered by the Bureau of Reclamation. The appropriations package includes $60 million for the Title XVI Water Reuse Grants Program, including $20 million for Title XVI-WIIN competitive grants. It also includes nearly $20 million for the Desalination and Water Purification Program. WateReuse advocated for both programs throughout the process. This funding comes on top of the $550 million and $250 million provided for the Title XVI and desalination program respectively in the IIJA.  

Pilot Program for Alternative Water Source Grants 

Congress has yet to stand up the first nationwide program dedicated to advancing water reuse. Despite both the House and Senate including first-time funding for the Pilot Program for Alternative Water Source Grants in their respective FY 2023 appropriations bills; heading into final negotiations the FY 2023 appropriations package does not include funding for the program. WateReuse led the charge to authorize this program in the IIJA and to secure funding in FY 2023 and is deeply disappointed that Congress chose to reverse course in the final package. The outcome was a result of appropriators having a lower spending cap than they anticipated, as well as significant pushback from members of Congress who oppose new spending on newly authorized programs. WateReuse will be redoubling our efforts to secure this funding in FY 2024, beginning with the release of the President’s Budget Request next month.  

Aquifer Storage, Recovery, and Recharge 

Congress is beginning to invest more intentionally in aquifer storage, recovery, and recharge. The package includes a total of $24 million for aquifer storage, recovery, and recharge, including $20 million to be administered by the Bureau of Reclamation, and $4 million to be administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Over the past four years, this investment has increased by 140 percent.  

Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund 

Earmarks are taking a significant chunk of funding out of the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) Programs. Funding for earmarks, also known as “congressionally directed spending” and “community project funding,” is funded within—not in addition to—base funding for the SRFs. Thus while overall funding for the SRF programs remained level between FY 2022 and 2023, the amount of discretionary funding for the programs is less than 50 percent of what it was in FY 2021 before Congress resumed earmarking funds. That said, it is important to note that discretionary appropriations are provided on top of funding provided by the IIJA, which included $11.7 billion for each of the SRF base programs over five years. When IIJA funding and annual appropriations are both taken into account, and earmarked funding is removed, the Clean Water SRF and Drinking Water SRF will have $2.98 billion and $2.72 billion respectively in FY 2023. This is a significant increase over pre-IIJA levels.  

The WateReuse Association reuse tracker chart provides a detailed breakdown of FY 2023 funding levels for water reuse-related programs:  

FY18 Enacted FY19 Enacted FY19 Supplemental Disaster Funding FY20 Enacted FY21 Enacted FY22 Enacted FY23 House minibus FY23 Senate mark FY23 Enacted 
CWSRF $1,693,887,000  $1,694,000,000  $53,300,000  $1,638,826,000 $1,638,826,000  $1,638,826,000  $1,751,646,000  $1,688,847,000  $1,638,826,000  
DWSRF $1,163,233,000  $1,164,000,000  $296,100,000  $1,126,088,000 $1,126,088,000  $1,126,088,000  $1,126,096,000  $1,176,095,000  $1,126,088,000  
WIFIA $63,000,000  $68,000,000  $0  $60,000,000 $65,000,000 $69,526,000 $80,344,000 $74,526,000 $75,640,000 
Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot PgmN/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $10,000,000  $5,000,000  $0  
Sec. 2005 of AWIA 2018 – Drinking Water Infra. Resilience & Sustain. PgmN/A N/A $0  $3,000,000 $4,000,000  $5,000,000  $6,000,000  $7,000,000  $7,000,000  
Mid and Lg. Drinking Water System Infra. Resilience & Sustain. PgmN/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $10,000,000  $0  $5,000,000  
Clean Water System Infra. Resilience & Sustain, PgmN/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $0  $0  $0  
Sec. 2007 of AWIA 2018 – Innovative Water Tech Grant PgmN/A N/A $0  $1,000,000 $1,500,000 $3,000,000 $5,000,000  $3,000,000 $5,000,000  
Sewer overflow & storm
water reuse municipal grants 
$0  $0  $0  $28,000,000 $40,000,000  $43,000,000 $280,000,000  $51,000,000  $50,000,000  
National Priorities Research Pgm (Extra mural) $4,100,000  $5,000,000  $0  $6,000,000 $7,500,000  $8,500,000 $10,000,000  $9,500,000  $9,500,000  
Title XVI Legacy $34,406,000  $38,617,000  $0  $43,616,000 $43,617,000  $35,693,000 $43,617,000  $35,000,000  $40,000,000  
Title XVI-WIIN $20,000,000  $20,000,000  $0  $20,000,000 $20,000,000  $17,500,000 $20,000,000  $20,000,000  $20,000,000  
Desal & Water Purification Program $17,803,000  $19,803,000  $0  $20,000,000 $21,500,000  $20,000,000 $17,719,000  $17,719,000  $17,719,000  
Aquifer Storage and Recovery (Recla- mation) N/A N/A $0  $10,000,000 $20,000,000  $18,000,000 $0 $25,000,000  $20,000,000  
Enhanced Aquifer Use & Recharge (EPA Research: SSWR) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $4,000,000 $5,000,000 $4,000,000 $4,000,000 
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