AWWA advocates on behalf of its members on key federal regulatory, legislative, and policy priorities. Among these priorities are:
Water service contributes to nearly every aspect of our lives, from public health to productivity and economic development. Much of the infrastructure that supports our water is aging and in need of repair or replacement. Major infrastructure projects typically require more money than local utilities have on hand. For this reason, AWWA advocates for infrastructure funding and finance mechanisms including but not limited to the state revolving loan fund (SRF) and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).
As stewards of public health and the environment, water professionals have always been aware of the risks associated with securing reservoirs and wells to protect the water supply, guarding materials at their facilities from theft and sabotage, and planning for routine and extraordinary events. The water sector has embraced an all-hazards approach to security and emergency preparedness that mirrors the multibarrier approach for water treatment. AWWA advocates for policies that advance physical and cybersecurity in effective ways while securing information about potential vulnerabilities.
Lead and copper enter drinking water mainly from corrosion of plumbing materials containing lead and copper. While use of lead in new plumbing materials has been banned for more than a quarter century, the release of lead into drinking water from existing materials remains a serious concern. AWWA advocates for policies to “get the lead out” in a way that is achievable and sustainable..
Protecting sources of drinking water is an effective way to reduce risks to public health, instill customer confidence, and control water treatment costs. Addressing water quality concerns at the source also has many other environmental and societal benefits that aren’t seen from treatment alone. AWWA advocates for both voluntary measures (such as those instituted through the Farm Bill) as well as strategic use of environmental laws to protect sources of drinking water..
As regulatory burdens, operational costs, and customer expectations continue to rise, maintaining affordable rates is a challenge for utilities across the nation. Water system partnerships can address a range of challenges, from water supply shortages to aging infrastructure to affordability and financial insecurity. AWWA advocates for low-income assistance as well as voluntary measures to help systems form partnerships and regionalize when they wish to.
The 1996 Amendments the Safe Drinking Water Act, more clearly than any other environmental law, sets the stage for cost-effective regulations based on the best available science. AWWA advocates for regulations and a regulatory process that is scientifically sound and appropriately balances all relevant factors.
For any questions about AWWA’s policy priorities, please reach out to AWWA’s Government Affairs Office