Issue Brief: The Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Programs

ASLA supports legislation to increase funding and strengthen the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. Landscape architects access the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds to plan and design low-impact development projects that help communities address their water quality and quantity needs.
Background & Analysis  
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) is a financial assistance program for a wide range of water infrastructure projects that was established by amendments made to the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1987. The program replaced the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Construction Grants program. Under the program, states have the flexibility to fund a range of projects that address their water quality needs by priority. Since 2009, ten percent of CWSRF funding has been set aside to address green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements, or other environmentally innovative activities. These four categories of projects are the components of the Green Project Reserve (GPR).     
The Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (DWSRF) was established by 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The DWSRF is a financial assistance program that helps water systems and states to achieve the health protection objectives of the SDWA.  The program helps to provide a long-term source of state funding that finances the infrastructure needed to achieve or maintain compliance with SDWA requirements, and to protect public health. States may also use the program for water protection and enhancing water system management. 
In the 114th Congress, Senator Benjamin Cardin (MD) introduced S. 2583, the Firm, Unwavering National Dedication to Water Act (FUND) Water Act. The legislation would more than triple the authorized appropriations to the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds. The FUND Act responds to the nationwide crisis of unsafe drinking water, crumbling infrastructure, and inadequate water protection that has affected Flint, Michigan and communities throughout the country. On December 31, 2016, the legislation expired without considered by the full Senate. Currently, the office of Senator Cardin is developing a comprehensive water infrastructure package, which may include provisions from the FUND Water Act. 
Current Status
The Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund grant programs remain funded at $2.26 billion for fiscal year 2017. On March 16, 2017, the Trump administration released a budget blueprint that includes $2.3 billion for the State Revolving Funds, a $4 million increase. However, the proposed budget also eliminates $498 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Water and Wastewater loan and grant program, and instead recommends that rural communities access EPA’s State Revolving Funds, thus leaving the program with a $494 million reduction in funding. 
ASLA Public Polices
Water Quality and Conservation
Coastal Zones
Environmental Justice 


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

Elizabeth Hebron,
Director of State
Government Affairs