Issue Brief: Clean Water State Revolving Funds


The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) supports legislation that increases funding and other resources for federal clean water programs, including the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF).


The Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 was passed to protect one of our most important and vital natural resources—water. It was specifically written as a remedy to clean the extremely polluted drinking water sources that were unusable for bathing, swimming, recreational activities, or cleaning, let alone consuming. Since 1972, the quality of America’s rivers, lakes, streams, and other bodies of water improved exponentially.

To assist states and localities in the implementation of the CWA, Congress passed an amendment in 1987 creating the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). This program provides states with low-cost financing to design, plan, build, or update water infrastructure. Project eligibility includes municipal wastewater facilities, nonpoint source pollution control, decentralized wastewater treatment systems, stormwater management and mitigation, green infrastructure, estuary protection, and water reuse. Under the CWSRF, states may provide various types of assistance, including loans, refinancing, purchasing, or guaranteeing local debt and purchasing bond insurance. States have the flexibility to target financial resources to their specific community and environmental needs.

It has been the policy of the Environmental Protection Agency, which administers the CWSRF, to promote and prioritize the use of green infrastructure in CWSRF projects. Established under the American Recovery Act of 2009, the Green Project Reserve (GPR) requires a minimum of 10 percent of all CWSRF funding to be used for projects that utilize green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency, or other environmentally innovative activities. The GPR is not permanently authorized and is subject to annual actions of Congress and appropriators.

The CWSRF is one of the most-accessed federal funding sources for landscape architects to plan and design water infrastructure projects. Despite the benefits of CWSRF, it has not been reauthorized in nearly 30 years.

Bill Summary

On April 26, 2023, Representative Nikema Williams (GA) reintroduced the Water Infrastructure Sustainability and Efficiency (WISE) Act. This measure would permanently reauthorize the Green Project Reserve and increase the minimum set aside for GPR projects to 20 percent.

Recent Action

On April 26, 2023, H.R. 2921 was reintroduced and referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.

Representative Nikema Williams (GA), and cosponsors.


Roxanne Blackwell, 
Esq., Hon. ASLA,
Director of Federal
Government Affairs

Elizabeth Hebron,
Director of State
Government Affairs