In a letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) this week urged the new Administration to make water infrastructure investment a key priority in the coming years.
The letter also elevated the issues of cybersecurity, source water protection, the energy-water nexus, affordability and the importance of sound science to guide regulatory actions.
Specifically, AWWA recommended the following:
- making water infrastructure a top priority while continuing strong support for the state revolving loans (SRFs) and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). AWWA encouraged the Trump Administration to remove red tape from WIFIA and enable to program to fully realize its capacity to make $3.35 billion in loans available with just a $50 million investment;
- supporting a collaborative approach to cybersecurity, while developing a more aggressive approach to cyber attacks and support for programs such as the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT);
- support for water utilities being designated as “first responders” with a need-to-know status during emergency situations, and support for programs that encourage communications between the agricultural and water sectors;
- supporting state and federal programs that encourage water utility energy efficiency;
- considering the full cost of community implementation when considering regulatory actions; and
- fully utilizing the deliberative, science-based approach outlined in the Safe Drinking Water Act when setting health-protective standards for drinking water.
“AWWA looks forward to working with the new Administration on issues fundamental to providing safe drinking water to the American people, most notably water infrastructure financing and cybersecurity, two issue raised by President-Elect Trump in the campaign,” said Tracy Mehan, AWWA executive director of government affairs. “In addition, affordability and protection of our source waters are tremendous opportunities for progress over the next four years.”
Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 50,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.