Bill to Increase Water Infrastructure Funding Advances in House

The Drinking Water System Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 3387) recently cleared a significant hurdle in the House of Representatives with a favorable analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), according to a news release from the WateReuse Association

The legislation would authorize the appropriation of about $9 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), a state-federal partnership that provides grants to public water systems, as well as to state, local, and tribal governments, for drinking water infrastructure projects. 

The legislation would also require that DWSRF applicants comply with prevailing wage and Buy American requirements as required by applicants to the Clean Water SRF program. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3387 would cost about $6 billion over the next five years and an additional $3 billion after 2022, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts. 

The legislation supports a key policy goal of the WateReuse Association, which is to significantly increase federal support for the DWSRF. It is unclear when the full House will consider the legislation, though should an infrastructure package move forward, this proposal will likely be incorporated. No similar legislation is yet being considered in the Senate.  

Jonathan Heller