Who: More than 150 water utility leaders from 48 states
What: American Water Works Association’s Water Matters! Fly In event
Why: Water system leaders will engage in more than 400 meetings with elected leaders and staffs to advocate for source water protection measures in Farm Bill, robust funding for water infrastructure investment
When: April 18-19
Where: Washington, D.C.
Interview Requests and Questions: Contact Greg Kail, AWWA director of communications. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile phone: 303.913.0063
Source Water Protection: AWWA delegates will support the conservation provisions in the newly introduced U.S. House Farm Bill, which would further protect drinking water sources from nutrient runoff. The bill, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, includes several key measures advanced by the AWWA over the past two years. The bill:
• Emphasizes protection of drinking water sources throughout the conservation title.
• Expands opportunities for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to work with water systems to prioritize activities in each state.
• Increases benefits for farmers who employ practices that benefit downstream water quality.
• Ensures at least 10 percent of conservation program funds is focused on the protection of drinking water.
AWWA created a whiteboard animation video to more clearly illustrate how the Farm Bill’s conservation programs are key to protecting drinking water sources. It is available on AWWA’s YouTube channel.
Water Infrastructure Investment: AWWA’s 2012 study, Buried No Longer: Confronting America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge, showed the U.S. will need to invest $1 trillion in the next 25 years to maintain and expand buried drinking water infrastructure. Wastewater needs are believed to be similar. AWWA delegates will ask for support the passage of H.R. 4492/S. 2329 to reauthorize and boost funding for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). WIFIA provides low-interest loans for large water infrastructure projects. Delegates will also support doubling appropriations for the drinking water state revolving loan fund program to $1.7 billion.
Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 51,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.