Biden-Harris Administration Announces Over $391 Million for Drinking Water Infrastructure Upgrades in California
Made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, new funding will help ensure communities have access to clean and safe drinking
April 04, 2023
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $391,500,000 to California for essential drinking water infrastructure upgrades through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). Thanks to a $6 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is increasing the investments available to rebuild the nation’s water infrastructure.
“Communities, economies, and ecosystems across the US rely on clean water, but the nation’s water infrastructure has been woefully neglected for decades, leading to a dilapidated, contamination-riddled system. Everyone deserves access to safe drinking water, which is why we included historic funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure law to invest in a clean water future. I’m happy this funding is on its way to our state and will make sure it we see the full benefit of this program,” said U.S. Representative Jared Huffman.
“Every community deserves access to safe, clean drinking water,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Thanks to President Biden’s historic infrastructure investments in America, we have an unprecedented opportunity to revitalize America’s drinking water systems, support the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of removing 100% of lead pipes across our country, and protect communities from PFAS pollution.”
“Providing technical assistance is critical to ensuring that all Americans, especially in tribal and disadvantaged communities, develop water infrastructure projects that meet their drinking water and wastewater needs” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “These funds will enable more communities to access technical assistance, modernize their drinking water infrastructure, and ensure safe drinking water for generations to come.”
“Every American deserves access to safe, clean drinking water,” said U.S. Representative Jim Costa. “Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are delivering historic investments to repair our drinking water infrastructure, ensuring communities in the San Joaquin Valley have access to safe, clean drinking water.”
“Thanks to the leadership of Congressional Democrats and President Biden, the right of every community to have access to clean drinking water is closer to a reality,” said U.S. Representative Mark DeSaulnier. “I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to help secure this funding for the people of California and the East Bay.”
U.S. Representative Ro Khanna said: “Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making long overdue upgrades to water infrastructure that will ensure that all Californians have safe drinking water in their homes. I’m glad to have worked with my colleagues in Congress and the administration to pass this historic legislation and deliver for communities in our state.”
“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, California and many of our sister states will see an increase in federal funding this year for drinking water projects in some of our most vulnerable communities,” said Yana Garcia, California Secretary for Environmental Protection. “Although we’ve made great strides, many California communities continue to lack access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water. Current estimates price our drinking water infrastructure needs at $64.7 billion. Securing sustained federal and state funding to meet this need is critical, and remains a key priority for our administrations.”
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to strengthening the nation’s water infrastructure, while providing significant resources to address key challenges, including climate change, emerging contaminants like per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and cybersecurity.
The DWSRF allotments to states are based on the results of EPA’s 7th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment (DWINSA). The survey, which is required by the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act, assesses the nation’s public water systems’ infrastructure needs every four years and the findings are used to allocate DWSRF grants to states. The drinking water utilities need $625 billion in infrastructure investments over the next 20 years to ensure the nation’s public health, security, and economic well-being.
At the direction of Congress, EPA’s 7th Drinking Water Assessment, for the first time included survey questions focused on lead service lines and is projecting a national total of 9.2 million lead service lines across the country. This best available national and state-level projections of service line counts will help advance a unique opportunity to employ a separate lead service line allotment formula for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law DWSRF Lead Service Line Replacement Funding that is based on need. Almost $3 billion of the funding announced today will be provided specifically for lead service line identification and replacement, taking a key step toward the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of achieving 100% lead free water systems.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is investing over $50 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure improvements across the country between FY 2022 and FY 2026. In its second year of implementation, $6 billion of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will be available to states, Tribes, and territories through the DWSRF. Of that funding, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest $3 billion in lead service line identification and improvement, $800 million to address PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and $2.2 billion in other critical drinking water system improvements. Additionally, approximately $500 million will also be available through the DWSRF annual appropriations, established by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
EPA is committed to ensuring every community has access to this historic investment and has centralized increasing investment in disadvantaged communities within its implementation. The implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law calls for strong collaboration, and EPA continues to work in partnership with states, Tribes, and territories to ensure that communities see the full benefits of this investment. In addition, EPA is strengthening its water technical assistance programs to support communities in assessing their water needs and apply for their fair share of this historic investment.
President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments mandated that EPA conduct an assessment of the nation’s public water systems’ infrastructure needs every four years and use the findings to allocate DWSRF capitalization grants to states.
The DWSRFs have been the foundation of water infrastructure investment for more than 25 years, providing low-cost financing for local projects across America. Since its inception, states have provided almost $53 billion through DWSRF programs to water systems for approximately 18,000 projects. Each state receives an allocation percentage that is based directly on its proportional share of the total need for all 50 States and Puerto Rico. The percentage made available to any individual state ranges from 1% to almost 11%, with each state guaranteed a minimum of 1% of the total amount available to states. Due to any individual state’s share of the total state need, some states will see increases or decreases in the percentage of funding they receive.
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