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Water Infrastructure Bill Revitalizes Title XVI

Date: December 13, 2016

WateReuse is ending 2016 with a big legislative victory.

Following a strong lobbying effort from the WateReuse Association and member agencies, Congress approved the final Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), now called the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, or WIIN (S. 612). The bill is on its way to the President for his signature.

The legislation includes the revitalization of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI water reuse and reclamation program, which has been one of WateReuse’s top advocacy priorities.

It was a race to get the bill to the finish line during this congressional session. House and Senate committees agreed to the final compromise language on Monday, December 5—just days before the 114th Congress was scheduled to end. The bill passed the full house by a vote of 360-61 on Thursday, December 8.

Following letters and phone calls from WateReuse and its members, the Senate brought the bill up for a vote and agreed to concur in the House amendment to S. 612 by a vote of 78-21 in the early hours of Saturday morning, December 10.

The nearly $12 billion measure authorizes 30 new infrastructure projects around the country. The provisions that WateReuse successfully lobbied in favor of include:

  • Reformation of Title XVI into competitive grant program
  • An additional authorization of $50 million for Title XVI
  • Clarification that “environmental infrastructure” projects, including water recycling projects, are eligible for the Army Corps of Engineers post-authorization study assistance
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