Home\Latest News\WateReuse Applauds Interior Department’s Historic Investment in Water Recycling

WateReuse Applauds Interior Department’s Historic Investment in Water Recycling

Date: January 17, 2022

Contact: Ben Glickstein
(571) 445-5513

Over the past year, the WateReuse Association led an advocacy campaign to secure $1 billion for western water recycling as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA). On Friday, January 14, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation began to release these funds, beginning with $550 million for the Title XVI Water Reuse Grants Program. The Bureau also made $250 million available for the Desalination and Water Purification Program.

“We applaud DOI’s quick action in disseminating these funds so that communities can invest in water recycling to build climate resiliency and reliable water supplies,” said WateReuse Association’s Executive Director Patricia Sinicropi. “Investment in water reuse is already generating economic, environmental, and public health dividends around the country and these new federal investments will help more communities secure their water future.”

Within the Title XVI program, there are two categories of projects: some that were individually authorized by Congress prior to 2011 (known colloquially as “congressionally authorized” projects or “legacy” projects), and others that compete for funding through a competitive grants process (also known as Title XVI-WIIN projects). The funding opportunities announced on Friday include both the Title XVI Congressionally Authorized Water Reclamation and Reuse Projects, with a project cap of $20 million, and Title XVI-WIIN Water Reclamation and Reuse Projects, with an increased funding cap of $30 million per project. WateReuse Association was instrumental in raising the Title XVI-WIIN per-project funding cap to account for the rising costs of infrastructure projects. The third funding opportunity is for Desalination Construction Projects. Applications for funding are due March 15, 2022.

In the coming weeks, the WateReuse Association will work with the Bureau of Reclamation to launch the next portion of the water recycling funding provided by the IIJA—$450 million for a new competitive grants program for large-scale water recycling projects.

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