National coalition to seek federal support for new water supplies

Advocates for new water supplies nationwide have come together to form the New Water Supply Coalition to push for expanded federal support for water supply infrastructure. The Washington, DC-based coalition of 14 public water agencies and water industry companies will seek Congressional support for the development of new water supply projects nationwide including water recycling, seawater and brackish groundwater desalination and groundwater reclamation projects...

Feb 16th, 2007

Water agencies nationwide unite to educate Congress on the need for water supply development

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 16, 2007 -- Advocates for new water supplies nationwide have came together Wednesday to announce formation of the New Water Supply Coalition to push for expanded federal support for water supply infrastructure. The Washington, DC-based coalition of public water agencies and water industry companies will seek congressional support for the development of new water supply projects nationwide including water recycling, seawater and brackish groundwater desalination and groundwater reclamation projects.

The New Water Supply Coalition is an expanded organization that grew from the U.S. Desalination Coalition (www.usdesal.org), formed in 2002, to seek federal funding for the construction of seawater and brackish groundwater desalination projects. The U.S. Desalination Coalition has several major public water agency members from Florida, Texas and California. The U.S. Desalination Coalition raised congressional awareness of the nation's looming water supply crisis and successfully sought the introduction of legislation in the 109th Congress that would have provided $200 million in funding for desalination projects.

"Our growing national population and the challenges posed by climate change make the development of new water supplies a critical priority for our nation," said Hal Furman, Executive Director of the New Water Supply Coalition. "We have the technology to develop new water supplies if it becomes a national priority, but time is of the essence."

The New Water Supply Coalition has broadened its membership and focus to support any new water supply programs that can create new water facilities that are needed for the growing population in our country.

Current members of the Coalition include:
-- American Water
-- Eastern Municipal Water District (CA)
-- El Dorado Irrigation District (CA)
-- Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority
-- Honolulu Board of Water Supply
-- JEA -- Jacksonville, FL
-- Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
-- San Diego County Water Authority
-- San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority (CA)
-- St. John's River Water Management District (FL)
-- South Florida Water Management District
-- Southwest Florida Water Management District
-- Texas Water Conservation Association
-- West Basin Municipal Water District (CA)

"Our Coalition is committed to educate every member of Congress about the impending future crisis this nation will face if we do not make significant investments in new water supply projects," said Michael Slayton, Coalition Chairman and Deputy Executive Director of St. Johns River Water Management District in Florida. "From Florida to California, climate change and water source pollution are combining to make the need for new water supplies a critical priority in the years ahead."

The New Water Supply Coalition (www.newwatersupply.org) is currently drafting new legislation that would authorize public water supply agencies to issue tax credit bonds to help finance construction of new water supply infrastructure. Eligible projects under the program envisioned by the Coalition would include: coastal seawater and inland brackish groundwater desalination plants, water recycling projects, and groundwater contamination clean-up projects that create new water supplies. The Coalition will be seeking congressional sponsors to introduce this legislation in the 110th Congress now in session.

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Also see:
-- "JEA, SJRWMD enter new water supply coalition"
-- "New septic tank phase out project in Mandarin soon to be under way; JEA plans town meeting"

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