Home\Latest News\House Moves Alternative Water Source Grant Program Closer to Funding

House Moves Alternative Water Source Grant Program Closer to Funding

Date: June 24, 2022

This week, the House of Representatives continued subcommittee markups of Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations bills. The House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee and the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee advanced their bills ahead of this week’s full Committee markups. The WateReuse Association is thrilled to report that the House Interior-Environment Appropriations bill includes $10 million in first-time funding for the Pilot Program for Alternative Water Source Grants, which WateReuse helped reauthorize in last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA). If funding is enacted, these grants will become the first nationwide program dedicated to advancing water reuse. Ahead of Subcommittee markup, WateReuse delivered a letter to appropriators urging full funding for the Program. We also signed on to a joint letter with other organizations urging funding for a range of IIJA water programs, including Alternative Water Source Grants. WateReuse is working closely with Senate appropriators to ensure that the Senate version of the Interior-Environment Appropriations bill includes full funding ($25 million) for the Alternative Water Source Grants Program.

Alongside funding for Alternative Water Source Grants in the Interior-Environment Appropriations bill, the House Energy and Water Appropriations bill provides $20 million for the Title XVI-WIIN Water Reuse Competitive Grants Program. This funding would be consistent with recent years and would come in addition to the $550 million over five years provided by the IIJA. The bill also includes more than $43 million for Title XVI legacy projects (projects individually authorized by Congress between 1992 and 2010), though WateReuse expects this number to be revised downward as the appropriations process progresses. Following release of the House Energy and Water Appropriations bill, WateReuse delivered testimony urging the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee to provide similarly robust funding for both Tile XVI-WIIN and for desalination grants.

In addition to the funding for water recycling programs, the appropriations bills include discretionary funding for a range of other important water programs that support water recycling. This includes $1.2 billion and $745 million for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) Programs respectively, which comes on top of the tens of billions of dollars provided by the IIJA for these programs. It is also in addition to another $935 million dedicated to SRF earmark projects. The legislation includes $280 million for sewer overflow and stormwater reuse grants, $16 million for drinking water system resiliency and sustainability grants (including $10 million for midsize and large systems), $5 million to support research into enhanced aquifer use and recharge, and $80 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program. $80 million in appropriated dollars for WIFIA would generate roughly $12.5 billion in loan funding.

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