Building Sustainable Water Systems


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. 

State regulatory agencies and EPA have encouraged partnerships as a strategy to improve the technical, managerial, and financial capacity of public water systems, but the process of forming water system partnerships can be hampered by cultural, legal, or financial difficulties or uncertainties.

Whats happening now

The administration is rolling out its Justice 40 initiative, seeking for 40% of benefits from many federal environmental investments (including the drinking water and clean water state revolving loan programs) to go towards disadvantaged communities (as currently defined in interim guidance).

AWWA is engaged in discussions with Congress and other water organizations about proposals to create a permanent program to assist low-income water customers struggling to pay their bills. 

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as the bipartisan infrastructure bill) dedicated considerable funds toward water infrastructure and other sector-specific needs.  AWWA is continuing to discuss the administration of these funds with federal agencies – EPA in particular – and will keep members informed on both regulatory developments and funding opportunities. 

AWWA continues to participate in the national conversation surrounding these and other aspects of affordability issues and environmental justice.