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Significant Wins for WateReuse Members in Federal Appropriations

Date: May 04, 2017

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on May 4 – 79 to 18 – to pass an omnibus appropriations bill, which funds the government through the end of fiscal year 2017. The House of Representatives approved the measure May 3 by a wide bipartisan majority, 309 – 118. The measure now heads to the President, who is expected to sign it.

This year’s appropriations contain some significant wins for WateReuse members.

Title XVI (Reclamation Projects Authorization and Adjustment Act of 1992)

Funding for Title XVI, the only federal program dedicated specifically to water reuse projects, increased from $23 million to $34.4 million, including a minimum of $10 million for new projects. Thanks to WateReuse advocacy efforts, the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act modernized Title XVI into a merit-based competitive grant program, which will ensure the best projects receive funding.

WIFIA (Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act)

WIFIA received an additional $10 million for a total of $30 million this fiscal year. The program provides tax-free municipal bonds and low-interest loans for up to 49% of the cost of construction for water, wastewater, stormwater and water reuse projects. In December 2016, Congress appropriated the first $20 million following an intense lobbying effort by WateReuse and our members, marking the first funding for this program originally passed in 2014.

State Revolving Funds (SRFs)

Funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund  and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund was maintained at $1.39 billion and $863 million respectively. The funds are state-federal partnerships that provide low-interest loans to improve clean water and drinking water treatment respectively.

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