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WateReuse Association Applauds Passage of Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021

Date: April 29, 2021

Today, the United States Senate voted to adopt S. 914, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021, which will make major investments in water recycling programs and resources, and help communities across the country adopt water reuse as a resource management tool.

The legislationcontains a number of top WateReuse Association policy priorities, including reauthorization of the Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot Program, which authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to grant up to $25 million per year to state, interstate, and intrastate water resource development agencies to engineer, design, construct, and test water reuse projects throughout the country.

The bill also directs the creation of an Interagency Working Group on Water Reuse, which will help break down traditional bureaucratic silos, leverage and coordinate resources throughout the federal family, and create a more formal structure for engaging external stakeholders on matters related to water recycling.

“The WateReuse Association applauds EPW Chairman Tom Carper, Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito, and Senators Tammy Duckworth and Cynthia Lummis for developing strong, bipartisan legislation to improve our nation’s water recycling infrastructure,” said Patricia Sinicropi, Executive Director of the WateReuse Association. “The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 provides tools and investments to help communities address complex and evolving challenges through the adoption of water reuse.”

Communities across the country are incorporating water reuse into their water management strategies as a proven method for ensuring a safe, reliable, locally controlled water supply—essential for livable communities with healthy environments, robust economies and a high quality of life. Some important examples of how communities and businesses are increasingly turning to water reuse in the face of climate change to build economic resilience, long-term affordability, and truly help America Build Back Better include:

  • By 2035, the City of Los Angeles expects to recycle 100% of its water supplies and reduce its reliance on costly imported water from the Colorado River. 
  • Truckee Meadows Water Authority in Reno is planning 13-mile pipeline to provide 1.3 billion gallons of recycled water annually to the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, home to Tesla, Switch and Google, and ensure 20,000 jobs remain in Nevada.   
  • The Hampton Roads region of Virginia, home to the largest concentration of military and naval installations, plans to recycle 100% of its effluent through an aquifer recovery system to prevent rising sea levels from threatening inundating the entire region.

The WateReuse Association looks forward to working with the Senate and the House to finalize and enact major water infrastructure legislation this year.

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