AWWA and WEF to focus on US water financing

The Water Matters! Fly In event hosted by AWWA and WEF comprises more than 400 meetings, taking place on Capitol Hill.

“Assuring reliable and safe water resources and infrastructure must be a top national priority,” said AWWA president Joseph Mantua. “Our water and wastewater systems are critical to the protection of public health and safety, our economy, and the quality of life we enjoy.”

“Our conversations this week will remind elected leaders the role that water infrastructure plays in assuring clean water and the economic vitality of our communities,” said WEF president Jeanette Brown.

Water professionals plan to ask US Congress for its support on several key issues during the Fly In, including: • the creation of a new water infrastructure finance mechanism to provide low-cost capital to water utilities needing to invest in infrastructure, as well as to State Revolving Funds.

• reform and capitalisation of state revolving loan fund programs for drinking water and wastewater.

• removing water projects from the state volume cap on Private Activity Bonds.

• renewing the federal partnership in meeting clean and drinking water challenges.

The organisations agree to support chemical security legislation that applies to water and wastewater utilities if it:

• ensures that local authorities make decisions on the best chemicals for water treatment, excluding orders to use “inherently safer technology.”

• applies to drinking water and wastewater systems only if they have chemicals of concern above identified threshold quantities

• provides adequate protection of sensitive information.

The organisation also wants the 112th Congress to consider even-handed approaches to revising the Clean Water Act, and support scientific processes when setting drinking water standards.