Savings Action Plan Information

Savings Action Plan Information

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:

  • It establishes a Drinking Water Technology Clearinghouse where EPA and USDA will disseminate information to small communities on cost-effective, innovative, and alternative drinking water delivery systems, including systems that are supported by
  • When applying for a Federal grant or loan, a small community (500 persons or less) would self-certify that it has considered a water supply system sourced by publicly owned
  • EPA and USDA would prepare a report to Congress detailing the effectiveness of the Clearinghouse as well as any cost savings to the Federal government as a result of the Savings

What next?

  • Water Systems Council (WSC) staff will be meeting with EPA and USDA to start populating the clearinghouse of information
  • WSC will establish a good working relationship with both federal agencies to ensure this information is disseminated out to these very small communities
  • EPA and USDA will create marketing materials about the cost effectiveness of wells and well systems
  • Contractors and State Associations can help inform their local very small communities about the Savings Act with these marketing materials

Additional Marketing materials will be produced about the water well industry and the professionalism of its members

  • Starting with manufacturers who produce products that go through the certification process and meet industry standards
  • Highlighting that wells must meet multiple state codes for construction and siting of the well
  • Talking about the professionalism of well contractors, who are licensed by the state, are required to have continuing education, use complex mathematical equations to properly size well components, and have large capital investments in equipment

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!

America’s Drinking Water: The Need

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.”

The Solution: Water Supply Cost Savings Act

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:

  • A letter from Senate Sponsors John Boozman (R-AR) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and USDA Secretary Sonny Purdue asking for work to begin on the Savings Act Clearinghouse of Information on their websites on wells and wells systems.
  • To work with the EPA and USDA to expedite the implementation of the Water Supply Cost Savings Act, which includes the Clearinghouse of Information on the utilization of wells and well
  • Dedicated funding in the new infrastructure bill for water infrastructure improvements, including wells and well systems, for small, rural communities.

Download the Savings Act Summary and Factsheet.

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:

Water Well Trust Projects Cost Savings

Amendment to WIIN

Support the “Savings Action Plan”