President Obama signs Water Resources Reform and Development Act into law

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June 13, 2014 -- On Tuesday, June 10, President Obama signed the bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) into law, of which the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) strongly commends. The $12.3-billion package reauthorizes flood control projects around the country and includes a major overhaul to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program. NACWA has been urging Congress and the Administration to demonstrate their commitment to the CWSRF as a core investment tool for municipal wastewater agencies, and the changes in the WRRDA bill reflect this work.

Communities nationwide face upwards of a $500-billion investment shortfall between what is needed to ensure communities have access to clean water versus what is currently available. The WRRDA package codifies several policies within the CWSRF that will help communities meet their clean water investment goals more affordably while incentivizing important investments in innovative technology and sustainable water resources management.

Several provisions in the CWSRF portion of the package are particularly important to municipal clean water agencies: 1) extending the SRF loan repayment periods to up to 30 years; 2) codifying additional subsidization provisions enabling economically distressed communities to receive more affordable financing; 3) incentivizing investments in energy efficiency, water efficiency and reuse, and sustainable infrastructure practices; 4) incentivizing partnerships between municipal wastewater utilities and upstream property owners to collaboratively tackle non-point source pollution and improve water quality; and 5) incentivizing wastewater utilities to undertake practices to ensure increased resiliency against man-made and/or natural disasters.

"Over 40 years after the passage of the Clean Water Act (CWA), clean water agencies across the country are undergoing a remarkable transformation from wastewater treatment plants to full-blown resource recovery agencies," said Ken Kirk, NACWA executive director. "These Utilities of the Future are pioneering new technologies and cutting-edge practices to manage valuable resources, spur economic development, create jobs, and improve the environment and public health. WRRDA recognizes this changing landscape by encouraging greater investment in more sustainable infrastructure to help communities better manage their clean water needs, and we are so pleased that the President signed this landmark legislation."

See also:

"AWWA, WEF praise passage of WIFIA legislation"

"Water Resources Reform and Development Act conference report released"

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