Water Well Journal

November 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/740475

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Page 16 of 90

Industry NEWSLINE Water Resources Development Act Moves to House of Representatives O n a vote of 95 to 3, the U.S. Senate on September 15 passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, which includes the Water Sup- ply Cost Savings Act. The bipartisan Savings Act (S. 1642) moved to the U.S. House of Representatives for action. The House planned to take up its ver- sion of the WRDA sometime the week of September 26. The House bill is much narrower than the Senate's and does not contain the Savings Act. If the House passes its bill, both sides will go to conference in an attempt to work out differences before the 114th Congress adjourns in December. "We're pleased NGWA's assistance has contributed to half of this effort's ul- timate necessary success," says NGWA CEO Kevin McCray, CAE. "There is still work to do with the House." The National Ground Water Associa- tion supports the bill as a way to reduce federal, state, and local costs of provid- ing quality drinking water in small com- munities by promoting greater use of well water systems as an alternative to traditional, centralized, drinking water systems. "I am proud of the NGWA staff, vol- unteers, and our partners that helped our representatives make a great choice for the evaluation of water projects across the United States," says David Henrich, CWD/PI, CVCLD, chair of NGWA's government affairs committee. "The Savings Act firmly puts groundwater supply as a primary option for cost effectively serving our nation's water needs." The latest U.S. Environmental Pro- tection Agency Drinking Water Needs survey indicates more than $384 billion in investment is needed in drinking water infrastructure over the next 20 years. With more than 42 million Ameri- cans relying on domestically supplied drinking water from groundwater, the potential benefits to them and those who operate farm-based and small businesses are significant. The WRDA legislation has three objectives: 1. Require the U.S. Department of Agri- culture and the EPA to create a drink- ing water technical clearinghouse to provide resources on cost-effective, alternative drinking water systems 2. Establish a self-certification process of local governments or nonprofit organizations serving 500 or fewer persons that wells or well systems were considered when applying for a grant for federal assistance 3. Direct the USDA and EPA to report to Congress no later than three years after the law's enactment on the use of alternative drinking water systems. Senators Joshn Boozman (R-Arkansas), Jon Tester (D-Montana), and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) introduced the legislation on June 22, 2015. "Comprehensive water infrastructure reform has been a long time coming and I am exceedingly proud of what we have been able to accomplish in this bill," Senator Cardin says. waterwelljournal.com 12 November 2016 WWJ NEWS continues on page 14 Join us at Groundwater Week in booth 306 in Las Vegas, NV, Dec 6-8, 2016

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