CASA Member Alert: Drought Relief Letter to U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources

Last week CASA submitted a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources outlining key components that should be part of any federal drought response legislation. Several different proposals are currently making their way through Congress, and CASA has worked with Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, and Members of the California House Delegation to advance these effective legislative responses to the drought.
To ensure that the final drought response package is of maximum benefit to the water and wastewater community, and to encourage the development of new water supplies for the state, CASA highlighted in its letter the key principles that should be included in any final legislation. Emphasis was on:
  • water recycling infrastructure, including the funding of Title XVI approved projects without further construction authorizations,
  • development and implementation of a new nationwide, competitive alternative water supply infrastructure assistance program, and
  • the extension of State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) terms to allow for loan assistance repayments of up to 40 years.
We also reiterated our core messages related to any new infrastructure financing, including:
  • funding of any new financing programs should not be authorized at the expense of continued and full funding of the SRF program, and
  • tax-exempt financing must be available without restriction for use with innovative financing approaches, including WIFIA.
Finally, we stressed the urgency for Congress to act quickly on these issues and pursue a hearing on drought legislation at the earliest possible opportunity.
As all of California’s water and wastewater agencies are aware, drought conditions threaten the economic security of all Californians as well as their quality of life. Response measures that include funding for recycled water projects and infrastructure will help create sustainable water supplies now and in the years to come.


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