It’s been a productive time for advocates of water in the U.S. with President Obama signing into law the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN). WIIN includes the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA), together with provisions to authorize critical water projects and improve drinking water infrastructure, water storage and supply, flood control and waterways across the nation.
A summary of some of WIIN’s key attributes are set out below:
- WIIN authorizes Congress to provide $20 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) in 2017. This the first time the WIFIA legislation, passed in 2014, has received appropriations from Congress with expectations that for each dollar appropriated the Environmental Protection Agency will be able to loan out at least ten dollars to eligible projects.
- WIIN includes provisions to address California’s ongoing drought including investment in projects for desalination, water storage and supply, flood control and water recycling.
- WIIN provides much needed funding for Flint, Michigan to treat lead contamination within its drinking water system.
- WIIN provides for settlement of four long standing Indian water rights claims to water.
For full text of WIIN, see https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/612/all-actions?overview=closed#tabs