WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) secured an authorization of $4.4 billion in appropriations for capitalization grants awarded to state drinking water revolving loan funds in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. The appropriations will be distributed over three years: $1.174 billion in fiscal year 2019, $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2020, and $1.95 billion in fiscal year 2021.
“I’m proud the Senate was able to come together to pass this common sense legislation to prioritize water infrastructure across our country. West Virginia has an estimated $1.16 billion in drinking water infrastructure needs that will have to be addressed in the next 20 years. This bipartisan legislation will support rural communities working to improve and repair both their drinking water systems. Every West Virginian deserves access to clean water and I’m proud to have fought for this funding to ensure every community has that access,”Senator Manchin said.
Senator Manchin worked to include the following provisions in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018:
Clean Drinking Water
- Reauthorizes the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program. The WIFIA program provides low cost loans to clean drinking water projects.
- Establishes a workforce development program for the water utility workforce, which is a rapidly aging workforce. Senator Manchin was a cosponsor to the standalone legislation that was incorporated into the final bill text.
Promotes Hydropower Development:
- Senator Manchin also secured provisions to promote hydropower on existing non-powered dams. The America’s Water Infrastructure Act directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a list of existing non-powered dams with the greatest potential for hydropower development. The legislation also improves the licensing and permitting process that for too long has limited the development of hydropower on existing dams. Nationwide, as many as 12 gigawatts of new hydropower could be added by retrofitting existing dam’s non-powered dams to produce electricity.