Legislative Activities

AWWA positions on key pending legislation

Appropriations

AWWA urges Congress, when it begins deliberations for 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. 
 

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

watter-matters-image The 2019 AWWA Water Matters! Fly-In will be March 27-28, with the Marriott Metro Center in downtown Washington, D.C., serving as headquarters. AWWA’s Government Affairs Office notified Section leaders to begin coordinating participation and selecting Fly-In delegates in the fall when registration opened.

AWWA covers travel expenses based on apportionment in the U.S. House of Representatives. For every 10 members of the U.S. 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.

In 2018, a record 160 water utility leaders from 48 states converged on Capitol Hill to advocate for water infrastructure investment and source water protection.

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.

Please note: Fly In registration and hotel room block information will be sent to chosen delegates. Once an official agenda has been set, we will send it to registered delegates and post it online for our members. 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) Conservation title of the 2018 Farm Bill (PDF)

a. We strongly applaud Congress’ strengthening of federal conservation programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that can protect sources of drinking water

b. We urge Congress to fully fund the conservation title of the 2018 Farm Bill

3) 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)