Jun 12, 2014

President Obama Signs Water Resources Bill

Bill includes important overhaul of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program

President Obama Water Resources Bill NACWA APWA

President Obama signed the bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) into law.

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. The new law also funds needed projects for flood control, water navigation, storm damage reduction, beach nourishment, ecological restoration, water supply and dam and levee safety.

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.

The Senate approved WRRDA by a vote 91-7, and the House of Representatives approved the measure with a vote of 412-4.