Would Provide $35 Billion in the Nation’s Water Infrastructure
On April 29, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed (89-2) the bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (S.914). The act authorizes more than $35 billion for the Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) grant programs and revolving loan funds for water and wastewater infrastructure targeting upgrading aging systems, climate change resiliency, implementing new technologies and aiding marginalized communities. Action now moves to the House of Representatives, where AGC will continue to press for robust investment in water infrastructure. For more information, click “Learn More.”
The legislation reauthorizes the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) at $2.4 billion in fiscal year 2022 and increases the funding level to $3.25 billion in fiscal years 2025 and 2026 totaling $14.7 billion over the course of the bill. It also increases the minimum percentage of subsidy for disadvantaged communities from 6% to 12%. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) is reauthorized at the same funding levels as the DWSRF. The legislation also includes funding for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) at its current funding level of $50 million per year through 2026. In addition, the bill reauthorizes EPA’s lead reduction projects grant program increasing its funding to $100 million annually through fiscal year 2026.
If enacted, the legislation would:
- Prioritize environmental justice by targeting grant programs and technical assistance to small, disadvantaged, rural, and tribal communities
- Empower states with increased funding and program flexibilities to invest in community water projects that address aging infrastructure and improve water quality
- Tackle lead contamination in drinking water through increased funding for lead pipe replacement and technical assistance
- Authorize funding to connect households to water services, install decentralized wastewater systems, and improve sanitation in Alaska rural and Native Villages.
- Support climate-resilient water projects to address the worsening impacts of climate change on drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
AGC will continue to advocate for robust water infrastructure investment in U.S. House of Representatives and press for enactment of legislation.