U.S. Representatives Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) and Ro Khanna (CA-17) recently reintroduced legislation, with 74 House and Senate original cosponsors, to increase access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water in America. The Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity, and Reliability (WATER) Act of 2021 is a comprehensive solution that creates a WATER Trust Fund, which dedicates nearly $35 billion toward water infrastructure improvements across the United States. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Senate companion to this legislation.
The WATER Act of 2021 would create a trust fund to support the nation’s drinking water and clean water infrastructure. Nearly $35 billion a year would be dedicated without further appropriation to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, creating up to nearly a million jobs throughout the economy. The bill:
- Provides $34.85 billion a year to drinking water and wastewater improvements
- Creates a water trust fund
- Creates up to nearly 1 million jobs across the economy and protect American workers
- Prioritizes disadvantaged communities with grants and additional support
- Expands funding for technical assistance to small, rural, and indigenous communities
- Funds projects to address water contamination from PFAS
- Requires US EPA to study water affordability, shutoffs, discrimination, and civil rights violations by water providers
- Upgrades household wells and septic systems
- Helps homeowners replace lead service lines
- Provides more than $1 billion a year to update water infrastructure in public schools
The WATER Act of 2021 is endorsed by 540 national, state, and local organizations including Food & Water Watch; American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); American Federation of Teachers (AFT); Partnership for Working Families; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Clean Water Action; Citizens for Water; Corporate Accountability; In the Public Interest; Local Progress; NAACP; People Demanding Action; People’s Action; Public Citizen; Greenpeace; UAW; and United Steelworkers. For a full list of organizations, click here.
Source: Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence