Senate Passes Water Resources Development Act

The U.S. Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) in September by a vote of 95 to 3. The bill, S. 2848, includes several key provisions affecting water infrastructure funding and would authorize U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works projects to help ensure the health of American waterways and local economies.

“The WRDA bill passed by the Senate contained many important provisions to help our nation address its drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure needs,” said Eileen O’Neill, executive director of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.). “Among them were provisions to support research and development, bolster Congress’ commitment to infrastructure funding, and help ratepayers and utilities deal with affordability challenges. WEF applauds the Senate’s bold action and urges Congress to include these provisions in the final act.”

S.2848 includes a Sense of the Senate provision, which cites findings from a WEF/WateReuse (Alexandria, Va.) analysis and calls on Congress to provide robust funding for state revolving fund (SRF) programs. The analysis determined that, when leveraged with SRF program backing, a $34.7 billion investment in federal SRF programs results in $32.3 billion in federal tax revenue; and every million dollars of SRF support results in an average of 16.5 jobs created and $2.95 million in U.S. economic input.

The U.S. House of Representatives version of WRDA, H.R. 5303, focuses almost solely on traditional Army Corps civil works projects. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the bill in May, but it has not been scheduled yet for a floor vote.

To find out more information, please contact WEF Legislative Director Steve Dye, sdye@wef.org.

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