Over the weekend, the Senate passed the Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation Act (previously known as WRDA) by a vote of 78 to 21. The House had earlier approved the measure by an overwhelming margin.
Despite concerns voiced by the Department of the Interior regarding the Central Valley Project drought-related provisions, no veto message was transmitted during congressional debate. As a result, we expect that the president will sign the measure into law in the coming days.
The final legislation includes many provisions of interest to CASA. The bill emphasizes a robust State Revolving Fund (SRF) program and makes clear that any funding for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) should not come at the expense of the SRF program. Similarly, CASA had consistently supported funding for water recycling and the final bill provides almost $600 million to support alternative water supply projects and storage including $50 million for water recycling. A complete summary of the bill will be provided once the President signs it into law.