Advocacy
Issue Brief: Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act
The Issue
ASLA supports legislation that addresses further improvement and investment in our nation’s water and stormwater management infrastructure.

Background & Analysis
Representative Lois Capps (CA) and Senator Benjamin Cardin (MD) have introduced the Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act, H.R. 765 and S. 1508, that funds water infrastructure projects that address changing hydrological conditions.

Specifically, the legislation creates a new EPA Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability program that offers competitive matching funds to water, wastewater, and stormwater agencies for water conservation and efficiency projects, water quality improvement and rebuilding or relocation of threatened infrastructure.

In 2009, the United States Global Change Research Program revealed that uncharacteristic hydrological conditions across the United States are likely to result in “too little water in some places, too much water in other places and degraded water quality” in other regions of the country. Many other state and regional-level studies have resulted in comparable findings. Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson, told Congress that the task of adapting to changing hydrological conditions represents a “significant issue” that water and wastewater systems will have to address. Additionally, one recent study estimated that the nation’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems will be forced to spend up to $1 trillion over forty years in order to maintain current service levels as a result of combating the impacts of severe drought and the rising frequencies of hurricanes, floods and rising sea levels

Sponsor(s)
Representative Lois Capps (CA) and co-sponsors
Senator Benjamin Cardin (MD) and co-sponsors

Current Status
S. 1508 was introduced Tuesday September 17, 2013 and referred to the House Committee on Environment and Public Works.

H.R. 765 was introduced Friday February 15, 2013 and referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House Committee on Energy and Commerce and House Committee on Natural Resources.

History
WIRSA has garnered the support of the American Public Works Association (APWA), American Rivers, American Water Works Association, Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA), National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), National Association of Water Companies (NAWC), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Water Environment Federation, WateReuse Association, Water Utility Climate Association (WUCA) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).