The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate moved quickly to pass a five-year reauthorization of Farm Bill programs on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis with the bill advancing to the president’s desk on December 12.
Contained within the legislation is an NGWA-backed provision to greatly expand the authorization for a program supporting assistance for household water wells.
NGWA joined the Rural Community Assistance Partnership in support of the expansion of the program to also allow decentralized wastewater systems to qualify for aid and to expand its funding cap.
Previously the authorization for the program was capped at $5 million per year, but the new language expands the authorization to $20 million per year through 2023. Quadrupling funding for the program will go a long way toward helping rural communities manage and protect groundwater resources for drinking water and agricultural purposes.
Also contained within the legislation is an expansion of important conservation programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program and the continuation of the Conservation Stewardship Program, each which provides support for water quality protection.
President Donald J. Trump is expected to sign the legislation.