Water Infrastructure Bill Passes with Bipartisan Support

The legislation that passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. Senate on April 29 aims to invest more than $35 billion in projects to upgrade the nation’s water infrastructure.

The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021, introduced in March by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), passed the Senate by a vote of 89-2. It now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.

The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 authorizes more than $35 billion for water resource development projects across the country with a focus on upgrading aging infrastructure, investing in new technologies, and providing assistance to marginalized communities.

It makes significant investments in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant programs and revolving loan funds that support water infrastructure.

The legislation:

  • Provides states with increased funding and program flexibilities to invest in community water projects that address aging infrastructure and improve water quality through the State Revolving Loan Funds
  • Increases investments in lead abatement through grant programs and assistance
  • Provides significant investments in technical assistance and new and emerging technologies that result in cleaner, safer, and more reliable water
  • Increases investments to address recruitment, training, and retention challenges facing the water and wastewater utility workforce
  • Invests significantly in small, disadvantaged, rural, and tribal communities through grant programs that promote environmental justice
  • Connects households to public water and wastewater services, decentralized wastewater services, and improves sanitation in Alaskan rural and native villages
  • Promotes resiliency projects to address the impacts of climate change on our water systems
  • Invests in the drinking water and wastewater needs of tribal communities.

The act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), Tom Carper (D-Delaware), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Mark Kelly (D-Arizona), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Alex Padilla (D-California), Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island).

Click here to read the legislation.