On December 16, 2016, President Obama signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act into law, which includes provisions of the Water Supply Cost Savings Act championed by the Water Systems Council.
Originally introduced in the 113th Congress on September 18, 2014, the Water Supply Cost Savings Act (“Savings Act”) was incorporated into the WIIN Act legislation earlier this year. Over the past three years, the Water Systems Council and its members worked to build bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. With this strong bipartisan support, the Savings Act was added as a provision to the WIIN Act.
Section 2108 of the WIIN Act includes the following Savings Act provisions:
(a) Drinking Water Technology Clearinghouse. The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall-
(1) develop a technology clearinghouse for information on the cost-effectiveness of innovative and alternative drinking water delivery systems, including wells and well systems; and
(2) disseminate such information to the public and to communities and not-for-profit organizations seeking Federal funding for drinking water delivery systems serving 500 or fewer persons.
(b) Water System Assessment. In any application for a grant or loan for the purpose of construction, replacement, or rehabilitation of a drinking water delivery system serving 500 or fewer persons, the funding for which would come from the Federal Government (either directly or through a State), a unit of local government or not-for-profit organization shall self-certify that the unit of local government or organization has considered, as an alternative drinking water supply, drinking water delivery systems sourced by publicly owned-
(1) individual wells;
(2) shared wells; and
(3) community wells.
(c) Report To Congress. Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report that describes-
(1) the use of innovative and alternative drinking water delivery systems described in this section;
(2) the range of cost savings for communities using innovative and alternative drinking water delivery systems described in this section; and
(3) the use of drinking water technical assistance programs operated by the Administrator and the Secretary of Agriculture.
WSC will also be instrumental in building the national Drinking Water Technology Clearinghouse for information on the cost-effectiveness of innovative and alternative drinking water delivery systems, including wells and well systems, as called for in the new law.
WSC will be working with member companies and associations to put together case studies and information on cost effectiveness of wells in 2017.
We will also ensure once the clearinghouse is built that it is made available to those communities seeking federal assistance for water infrastructure.
The following documents provide important background information about the Savings Act: