The Association of California Water Agencies expressed support for legislation marked up by the House Science Committee November 15. The bill, HR 3178 by Committee Chair Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to develop demonstration projects for the security of national water infrastructure.
"The water infrastructure of California and the west has safely served its citizens for decades," said ACWA Executive Director Steve Hall. "But its imperative that these facilities be secured for a new era of enhanced domestic security."
HR 3178, the Water Infrastructure Security and Research Development Act, authorizes $12 million annually for the projects over the next five years, undertaken with public or private nonprofit entities and universities. The legislation mandates that research be "related to or develop technologies and related processes for mitigation of, response to, and recovery from biological, chemical, and radiological contamination of water supply systems."
"For decades, Californians have safely lived downstream from some of the largest dams and reservoirs in the entire west," said Hall. "Millions of southern Californians receive their water through aqueducts stretching hundreds of miles, from watersheds in remote areas. Needless to say, it is essential that these facilities remain safe."
ACWA supports HR 3178 in concert with its coalition partners within the Water Infrastructure Network, or WIN. WIN consists of local governments, drinking water and wastewater service providers, state environmental and health administrators, engineers and environmentalists dedicated to preserving and protecting the health, environmental and economic gains that America's drinking water and wastewater infrastructure provides.