AWE Notes Water Efficiency Bills in Congress

In a May 19 newsletter, the Alliance for Water Efficiency noted that Congress has acted on major legislation in the House and Senate, including the introduction of a new federal program that would provide $50 million for a water-efficiency and conservation rebate program.

The Water Advanced Technologies for Efficient Resource Use Act was introduced by Reps. Holt (N.J.) and Miller (Calif.) in the House on May 12. Along with the rebate program, the bill authorizes WaterSense as a permanent program, expands the scope of products covered under the program, and directs the federal government to purchase water-efficient products and services. It has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform and Armed Services.

The Water Infrastructure Financing Act, which passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on May 14, contains authorization for EPA's WaterSense program and provides for up to $10 million in funding. In addition, the bill authorizes both the Clean Water and the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, expanding eligibility for funding for stormwater management projects, water efficiency or conservation projects, and reuse and recycling projects.