| AWWA Fly-In delegates to educate U.S. Congress, celebrate Safe Drinking Water Act
AWWA Articles

AWWA Fly-In delegates to educate U.S. Congress, celebrate Safe Drinking Water Act

More than 140 delegates from the American Water Works Association (AWWA) will pour into the United States’ capital April 9-10 for the annual AWWA Fly-In. Delegates from AWWA Sections will meet with their congressional representatives in Washington, D.C., to discuss water policy and legislation

AWWA Fly-InThe flagship event, hosted by AWWA’s Water Utility Council, plays an integral role in advancing the Association’s legislative agenda on Capitol Hill. It also elevates AWWA and its members as expert sources of information on water issues. 

This year’s Fly-In coincides with the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act. AWWA will celebrate this milestone with its members, delegates, and special guests during the introductory session of the Fly-In. This celebratory moment will include a ‘Toast to Tap’ and reflections on 50 years of SDWA establishing a regulatory framework to safeguard public health and safety. The moment will also look ahead to the future of the Act and new challenges that lie ahead. 

Tim WorleyAWWA member Tim Worley will attend the Fly-In as a delegate and looks forward to commemorating the significance of SDWA’s 50th anniversary. 

“The Safe Drinking Water Act has been a hugely important framework for advancing public health,” said Worley, managing director at Ortega Strategies Group. 

“With all the challenges and debates about how the law is applied and implemented, it is important to recognize that it brings together the best of science, technology, and economics to promote safe, accessible, and affordable water, which is a tremendous achievement,” he added. “As water leaders, I think we can acknowledge our part in that success story and look ahead to the next challenges with the same resolve as the heroes we celebrate from our history.”

Delegates will discuss the following AWWA priorities with their congressional representatives:

  • Authorizing a permanent program to assist low-income customers maintain affordable access to water, similar to existing energy, food, and housing programs 
  • Exempting water systems from liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), known as Superfund, in contamination events involving per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
  • Fully funding the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and halting the practice of diverting SRF funds to pay for congressional earmarks
  • Supporting a collaborative approach to cybersecurity in the water sector by establishing an independent organization to set minimum cyber standards with oversight by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

These meetings are a key AWWA legislative strategy because local perspectives from constituents about the impacts in their home districts or states are more likely to convince Congressional representatives to take action. The visits also provide the AWWA Government Affairs team with great insight into how various congressional offices are thinking about water issues and provide an opportunity for further meetings or follow-up.

Follow Fly-In activities on AWWA social media throughout the week. To learn more about how AWWA is celebrating SDWA’s 50th anniversary, visit our SDWA webpage