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WateReuse Members Testify on Capitol Hill for Investment in Water Reuse Infrastructure

Date: September 27, 2017

Two WateReuse Association members, El Paso Water (Texas) and Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (California), presented testimony to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment on Tuesday, September 26 highlighting the importance of investing in water reuse infrastructure.

Tuesday’s hearing, which focused on water infrastructure, was one in a series on Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America convened to receive testimony from stakeholder organizations about key issues Congress may want to address should it move forward with an infrastructure investment package later this Congress.

Hector Gonzalez, Government Affairs Manager from El Paso Water, explained the importance of investing in water reuse infrastructure.

“Several decades ago, El Paso faced water scarcity fears. Yet, because of our pioneering efforts in reuse and conservation, we are now considered a leader in water resources innovation. But we – and many communities throughout the arid West – will need to expand the reuse of water resources to ensure fresh water supplies for the future,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez discussed El Paso’s planned advanced water purification facility and its existing desalination facility as examples of projects that are expensive—at about $100 million each—but essential to El Paso’s future water supply. With federal funding opportunities, Gonzalez stated, communities that face similar challenge could move forward with these types of projects. He also encouraged the streamlining of regulatory requirements and simplifying the federal funding application process.

David Pedersen, General Manager of the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD), also emphasized the importance of water reuse in his testimony. LVMWD used recycled water to meet 20% of its water demand and has plans to build a $95 million potable reuse project in partnership with the Triunfo Sanitation District. Pederson asked that any infrastructure policy preserve robust funding for federal programs that provide funding assistance for reuse projects, including state revolving funds and the Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program.

Other witnesses for the hearing included:

 

View Testimony

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