Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-11) announced today the passage of important water legislation that would create a grant program to identify new water sources through such methods as recycling, reclamation and reuse. The Healthy Communities Water Supply Act of 2009, authored by McNerney, passed the House late last week. McNerney introduced similar legislation in 2007.
The Healthy Communities Water Supply Act, H.R. 700, would authorize $250 million in funding for projects that increase the usable water supply by encouraging innovation in water conservation, recharge, recycling, reuse and reclamation.
“We need to move forward with identifying new sources of water in order to plan for our area’s future needs,” McNerney said. “This bill provides grants to investigate just that.”
The Healthy Communities Water Supply Act of 2009 amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to authorize alternative water source projects. It will provide a necessary source of funding for projects like groundwater recharge, aquifer storage and retrieval and membrane filtering technologies that have the potential to considerably increase our ability to use water more efficiently.
“This is an important bill which encourages innovation by authorizing funding for pilot projects to develop water supplies through conservation, management and reclamation,” McNerney said. “These projects can work.”
Previously, State Revolving Loan Funds and Clean Water Act construction grants were available for identifying new water sources. However, communities increasingly depend on these funds to provide for the maintenance and upkeep of existing water infrastructure, and not for discovering new, and potentially less expensive, water supplies.
H.R. 700 was introduced on Jan. 27, 2009 and passed the House on March 12, 2009 as part of the Water Quality Investment Act of 2009. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.