This simple law is aimed at getting information about alternative drinking water systems, including wells, before the smallest communities before they make a decision to undertake the construction or upgrade of expensive drinking water systems.
Essentially, the bill has three key provisions:
Additionally, having EPA and USDA attest to the fact that wells are a cost effective solution for safe drinking water will also help in our fights for exempt wells and against mandatory hook ups!
The most recent EPA Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey reports a shortfall in funding for rural drinking water infrastructure of $64 billion.
Signed into law by President Obama in 2016, the Water Supply Cost Savings Act (PL 114-322) requires EPA and USDA programs to provide information about cost-saving, innovative, and alternate drinking water delivery systems, primarily focused on the utilization of wells and well systems.
The law also requires that individual, shared and community wells be considered by all applicants seeking federal funding for drinking water systems serving 500 or fewer people.
The drinking water challenges facing rural America are particularly acute, and many of these small communities lack the tax base to pay for expensive drinking water treatment and delivery systems.
Investment in water infrastructure enjoys wide bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and within the Trump administration. While the 2018 EPA budget has been cut overall by 31%, the President’s 2018 Budget calls for:
“…robust funding for critical drinking and wastewater infrastructure. These funding levels further the President’s ongoing commitment to infrastructure repair and replacement and would allow States, municipalities, and private entities to continue to finance high priority infrastructure investments that protect human health. The Budget includes $2.3 billion for the State Revolving Funds, a $4 million increase over the 2017 annualized CR level. The Budget also provides $20 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program, equal to the funding provided in the 2017 annualized CR. This credit subsidy could potentially support $1 billion in direct Federal loans.”
Greater utilization of water wells and well systems to provide rural America with safe, affordable drinking water can save state, local and federal governments billions of dollars over the next decade.
As Congress begins to craft legislation to address America’s staggering infrastructure needs, the Water Systems Council will be pursuing the following:
Water Well Trust client, Mike Frazee, gave his Testimony at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing that focused on Innovative Financing and Funding: Addressing America’s Crumbling Water Infrastructure. Watch the complete broadcast.
The following documents provide important background information about the Savings Act: