WWEMA joined with other water associations and several water technology providers in calling on the U.S. Congress to continue and expand its support and funding of water infrastructure. Listed among the other signatories to the letter are: the American Water Works Association, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, the Water Environment Federation, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, WateReuse, and the U.S. Water Alliance. In a May 19, 2021 letter sent to U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate leadership, WWEMA expressed support for increased funding for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), the State Revolving Funds (SRFs), Title XVIWIIN Water Reclamation and Reuse Grants, and Alternative Water Source Grants.
The letter urged the prioritization of policies to promote SMART water technology adoption and provided examples of how their adoption can make utilities more efficient, improve service and costs for consumers, minimize environmental impacts, reduce energy consumption, and fortify water utilities making them resilient against natural disasters and other disruptions. The letter also references the March 18, 2021 Congressional briefing where many of these topics were addressed. A recording of that briefing, along with additional background information, case studies, and model legislation, can be accessed at https://h2ofuturetech.org/. The letter also highlights specific ways Congress can address America’s water infrastructure needs of tomorrow. Specifically, it recommends:
- Creating a Water Technology Grant Program
- Establishing an Advanced Research Projects Agency – Water (ARPA-H2O)
- Reauthorizing and Fully Funding Technology Grant Programs under America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA)
- Creating a Technology Clearinghouse
Vanessa Leiby, WWEMA’s Executive Director, delivered the presentation on Creating a Technology Clearinghouse, noting the cost and environmental advantages to water treatment equipment manufacturers, utilities, and state regulatory agencies if duplicative efforts such as pilot testing can be avoided and innovative technology can be deployed sooner. A copy of the letter is available HERE. Her presentation can also be accessed at https://h2ofuturetech.org/ at the approximate 36:35 timestamp.