The Water Systems Council (WSC), the only national nonprofit organization solely focused on household wells and water well systems, expressed its enthusiastic support for the introduction of bipartisan legislation that will modernize investment in water infrastructure by empowering states to invest in multiple water infrastructure projects.
The Securing Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF WIN) Act was introduced by U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The bill combines the best aspects of state revolving funds (SRFs) with the leveraging power of the Water Infrastructure and Innovation Act (WIFIA) to make the process easier and more affordable for states to meet their underserved or unmet water infrastructure needs.
"We have a more than $500 billion shortfall for water infrastructure funding in this country. This is a national emergency. Access to safe and clean water is critical to the livelihood of every American. This legislation is an innovative approach to helping communities of all sizes, in every state secure loans so they can improve their crumbling infrastructure," says Boozman, chairman of the environment and public works' subcommittee on fisheries, water and wildlife.
"We commend Senators Boozman, Booker, Inhofe and Feinstein for their leadership in bringing a reliable, cost-effective funding solution to states whose citizens lack an affordable water delivery system for their daily needs," says Richard Mest, WSC president. "The water crisis in America is not just one of supply, but of delivery. With the availability of economical alternatives like water well systems and an affordable funding solution provided by the SRF Win Act, there should be no reason that every American should not have access to safe drinking water."
This SRF WIN Act would:
- Authorize $200 million annually in federal loans over five years to support state revolving fund projects exclusively.
- Encourage states to bundle their projects by waiving the $100,000 application fee and streamlining the application process to a maximum 180-day turnaround.
- Simplify the federal approval process by allowing thousands of vetted drinking water and wastewater projects to receive funding, eliminating the need for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to process thousands of additional loan applications.
- Preserve the successful state revolving funds (SRFs) and the Water Infrastructure and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan program.
The SRF WIN Act has bicameral support. Congressmen John Katko (R-NY) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
WSC is committed to ensuring that Americans who get their water from household private wells have safe, reliable drinking water and to protecting our nation's groundwater resources. For more information, visit www.watersystemscouncil.org.