NGWA Applauds Passage of Water Resources Development Act of 2022

NGWA is applauding the passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 from the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The bill was passed out of committee with a bipartisan vote on May 18.

The biennial legislation grants authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to carry out water resource development projects and studies. The bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives’ floor for a full vote.

For the first time since its creation, this year’s Water Resources Development Act contains a provision focused on studying the expansion of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) projects in current and future USACE projects. MAR is the purposeful resupply of water to aquifers for subsequent recovery or for environmental benefit.

The provision, which was advocated for by NGWA, would:

  • Authorize the USACE, in consultation with nonfederal partners, to conduct a feasibility study on the implementation of MAR in current and future projects
  • Create a working group within the USACE to centralize corps’ knowledge on MAR and assist with feasibility studies
  • Require a report to Congress on the results and data collected from the study and an evaluation of the benefits of a potential center of expertise for MAR
  • Require the USACE to provide Congress with an update on suggestions written in USACE’s 2020 report, Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Water Security through Resilience.

The study would focus specifically on regions which have experienced prolong drought, aquifer depletion, or water scarcity issues. The study would also include tribal lands and territories.

“Groundwater provides almost half of Americans their daily drinking water and more than 55 billion gallons are used every day to irrigate our nation’s crops,” says NGWA CEO Terry S. Morse, CAE, CIC. “So, by exploring more opportunities for managed aquifer recharge projects we are not just combating drought, but also creating jobs and ensuring our communities stay healthy.”

Click to read the Water Resources Development Act of 2022.

NGWA’s technical journal, Groundwater®, will devote a special issue to MAR in 2022.

If you have any questions or would like to comment on this news item, contact Ben Frech at bfrech@ngwa.org, or call (800) 551-7379, ext. 1570.