Legislative Activities

AWWA positions on key pending legislation

Appropriations

AWWA urges Congress, as it considers the fiscal year 2020 budget, to provide fully authorized funding for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program and for the drinking water and wastewater state revolving loan fund programs (SRF). Since Congress began providing funds for WIFIA to begin making loans in FY2017, water utilities across the country have become more and more interested in seeking loans for the larger-scale projects that WIFIA can support.

The SRFs are long-established finance tools, primarily for small to medium-sized projects focused on regulatory compliance. AWWA urges that no funds be appropriated for the recently created SRF-WIN program as it does not fill any infrastructure finance needs and could become a real budget burden.

PFAS

AWWA, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, the National Association of Water Companies and the National Rural Water Association on Aug. 8, 2019, sent a joint letter to members of Congress working on defense legislation asking that a number of concerns related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) be addressed. You can read the joint letter here.

Farm Bill

Congress made a tremendous leap forward in furthering protection of many of our nation’s sources of drinking water in H.R. 2 in the 115th Congress, also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. AWWA members and staff held many meetings with members of the House and Senate agricultural committees as they developed the conservation title of H.R. 2. We look forward to working with producers, utilities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is helping with the implementation of conservation programs that protect source waters.

Water Infrastructure Finance

AWWA applauds Congress’ reauthorization of the WIFIA and drinking water SRF program in S. 3021, enacted in the 115th Congress. The bill reauthorized the drinking water SRF program for the first time since 2003. While the SRF received a three-year reauthorization, WIFIA got a two-year reauthorization, meaning the issue will come up again toward the end of the 116th Congress. AWWA looks forward to working with Congress to further extend this popular program and make some adjustments, such as increasing the percentage of a project’s costs that WIFIA may support.

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Water Matters! Fly-In

Fly-In 2019

For 2020, the AWWA Water Matters! Fly-In will be April 29-30, with the Washington Court Hotel serving as headquarters. The 2020 Fly-In will be held in conjunction with some activities at Water Week, the annual policy event sponsored by wastewater and other water-related organizations.

The AWWA Government Affairs Office will send a notice that registration is open to Section officers in late fall 2019. A link to book hotel rooms will be included in that announcement.

AWWA always covers travel expenses based on apportionment in the US House of Representatives. For every 10 members of the House in a given state, AWWA will reimburse one delegate. If your state has fewer than 10 members, AWWA will reimburse one delegate. Sections are free to send additional delegates at their own, their employer’s or the Section’s expense.

Hosted by AWWA’s Water Utility Council, the Fly-In is the focal point for the association’s grassroots lobbying efforts. It serves to advance the water community’s legislative goals and further establishes AWWA members and staff as sources of information on water issues in Washington.

The 2019 AWWA Water Matters! Fly-In was held March 27-28,  and attracted more than 150 water managers from 49 states and Puerto Rico who urged their members of Congress tosupport programs that fund water infrastructure and protect water quality.

As seen here, from left, AWWA President David Rager, former WUC Chair Aurel Arndt, Grace (Aurel's granddaugher), Aiden (Aurel's grandson), Chris Wheland (back), and Jane Arndt welcomed Rep. Paul Tonko, center.

Read more about the 2019 event.

Have additional Fly In Questions? Email us at Flyininfo@awwa.org


Issues for 2019

1) Reinvestment in water infrastructure (PDF)

a. Provide fully authorized funding in fiscal year 2020 for the drinking water state revolving loan fund (SRF) program at $1.3 billion and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program at $50 million.

b. Begin discussions for reauthorization of the drinking water and wastewater SRF programs and of WIFIA.

2) Address concerns about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) (PDF)

a. Give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the tools it needs to address PFAS accurately and effectively.

What is AWWA? (PDF)