Reps. Huffman & Napolitano Release GAO Report on the Benefits of Water Reuse Projects
Washington, D.C.- A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released today by the expected Chair of the Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee, Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), and the expected Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, Representative Grace F. Napolitano (D-El Monte), shines a light on the importance of federal funding for water recycling projects in preparing the arid West for a changing climate and scarce water supplies.
The GAO report released by the two lawmakers, both longtime advocates for sustainable clean water infrastructure, showcases the broad benefits of the Title XVI program, which authorizes federal participation in recycled water projects across the West and studies covering various uses for reused water. The report identifies nearly a $1 billion backlog authorized water recycling projects, demonstrating a clear need to continue and expand Title XVI funding.
“The Federal government has an important role to play in working with local water managers to modernize America’s water infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing population and a changing climate,” said Rep. Huffman. “This new GAO report demonstrates the clear benefits of robust investments in water reuse projects that help our cities and rural communities continue to thrive in the face of water scarcity. In the 116th Congress, I look forward to working with Chair Napolitano to expand these proven water solutions that benefit all Americans.”
“This GAO report highlights the importance of water recycling to address water supply concerns in the arid West and particularly in my region of Southern California,” said Rep. Napolitano. “It further describes the overwhelming demand for the primary water recycling program of the federal government, the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI program. Water recycling used to be thought of as an alternative supply option, but the growing reliance and acceptance of this technology has put recycling on par with traditional water sources, such as groundwater wells, aqueducts, and dams. I thank GAO for their comprehensive research and assessment of this technology, and I look forward to working in tandem with Chair Huffman to promote sustainability in addressing all of our water supply needs.”
As Congress discusses an infrastructure package, the Water, Oceans, & Wildlife Subcommittee will analyze existing authorized programs and how they are meeting public needs, and will work to expand water resilience through sustainable water investments. Huffman also serves on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee with Chair Napolitano.
For 20 years in Congress, Rep. Napolitano has championed water recycling projects in the West and nationwide. She will soon reintroduce her bill, the Water Recycling Investment and Improvement Act, to reauthorize the Title XVI program and increase the funding level to $500 million to meet the needs of water agencies investing in this technology.
You can find a summary of the report’s findings here.