WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) and Rep. John Duarte (CA-13) today introduced the bipartisan Water Infrastructure Modernization Act. The bill creates federal grant programs to increase investments and use of smart water technologies.
“We need to attack our Western water crisis on multiple fronts. That means utilizing innovative technologies to keep our state’s water loss to a minimum,” said Rep. Gallego. “Our bipartisan bill does just that by working to increase use of smart water technologies so Arizonans across the state can use their water more efficiently.”
“California and states across the West have continued to suffer thanks to outdated, ineffective water infrastructure. The Water Infrastructure Modernization Act is a commonsense solution to getting more water to our farmers and working families. Access to safe and reliable water is a fundamental human right, and this legislation is a critical step towards ensuring that every community has access to abundant water. By investing in our water infrastructure, we are not only protecting public health and the environment, but also supporting economic growth and job creation. I am proud to have joined a bipartisan, bicameral coalition of lawmakers to advance this vital bill,” said Rep. John Duarte (CA-13).
The Gallego-led legislation provides $50 million in new EPA funding for grants which community water systems can use to purchase and implement new water technologies, including those that can identify water loss, examine pipe integrity, detect leaks, prepare for severe weather, innovate water storage systems, and more. Supporting drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across America, this program mitigates the effects of water shortages, and reduces inequities in access to clean water.
“Cities are the water and wastewater service providers for the vast majority of the population and industry, and it is more important than ever that we invest in the security of this crucial infrastructure,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “The technologies and improvements funded by the Water Infrastructure Modernization Act will create efficiencies and cut waste to protect water resources in communities across the country.”
“On behalf of the City of Globe, we proudly support Congressman Gallego’s Water Infrastructure Modernization Act. Our City is in desperate need of vital improvements and this legislation will help expedite these improvements that will ultimately allow us to save water, which we all know is a precious resource in our city and statewide. We are thankful for Congressman Gallego’s continued leadership on this issue,” Globe Mayor Al Gameros said.
“As a rapidly growing city in a desert climate, Mesa understands the urgent need to maintain a secure water future,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles. “The Water Infrastructure Modernization Act addresses the pressing needs of communities like ours, and we appreciate Congressman Gallego for introducing this crucial piece of legislation. By prioritizing smart technologies and forward-looking investments, this bill will greatly assist Arizona in enhancing our water systems, increasing efficiency, and sustainably managing our existing water resources.”
“Cities across Arizona continue to face the realities of aging water infrastructure as they simultaneously deal with the threat of water shortages due to drought,” said City of Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke. “The time is now for local, state and federal government agencies to work together to find solutions that will ensure every American has access to clean water at the tap,” said Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke.
“We applaud Congressman Gallego for introducing the Water Infrastructure Modernization Act to preserve Arizona’s precious water resources. As the fastest growing City in the United States, Buckeye is always looking for new and innovative ways to protect this valuable commodity and save water. This legislation is an important step for the City and all of Arizona and we are grateful that Congressman Gallego has introduced it,” said Buckeye Mayor Eric Orsborn.
“We are grateful to Congressman Gallego for this important and timely piece of legislation. Here in the Southwest, we have been experiencing a drought for decades, and need to improve our water systems to keep Arizona thriving, productive and healthy,” said Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega.
“As the leader of a desert city dependent on the Colorado River during a megadrought, I understand the urgency of our water challenges. For over a decade, I have been advancing water policies that support Tucsonans’ water future. For that reason, I proudly support the Water Infrastructure Modernization Act,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. “This visionary legislation embraces smart technologies and innovative solutions, providing communities with the financial tools to move towards a future where water conservation and effective management are paramount. By investing in modernization, this Act will forge a path that ensures the vitality of our city and region, while safeguarding our most precious resource for generations to come.”
“I’m excited to support Congressman Gallego’s water infrastructure modernization proposal. This is exactly the national leadership we need to protect and ensure our future water supply. It also aligns with and complements Tempe’s priority initiative to re-open the Kyrene water reclamation facility,” said Tempe Mayor Corey Woods.
“The WateReuse Association enthusiastically supports Representative Gallego and Duarte’s bipartisan bill to modernize America’s water infrastructure,” said WateReuse Association Executive Director Patricia Sinicropi. “Water recycling and other modern water technologies can unleash economic potential, protect our environment, and make our communities more resilient. The Water Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2023 is another important step in bringing water recycling to the communities that need it most.”
New smart water technologies have the potential to help communities better manage their water resources by reducing water losses, more accurately tracking usage patterns, and more effectively removing contaminants,” said Tom Dobbins, CEO of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies. “All of these benefits hold the potential to lead to more efficient water system operations, which translates to more affordable water service for customers. AMWA is proud to support the Water Infrastructure Modernization Act to help more communities access and implement these important technological advances in water treatment, conservation, and delivery.”
The Water Infrastructure Modernization Act aims to provide incentives for the implementation of smart water technology capabilities to give more communities the benefits of big advances in computing power and network intelligence,” said Joshua Mahan, Director of Government and Industry Relations at Xylem. “By implementing these technologies, our drinking water and wastewater utilities could leapfrog decades of underinvestment and provide huge benefits to their communities – making high-quality water more affordable for more people.”
A one-page summary of the bill can be found here.
A section-by-section of the bill be found here.
Full text of the bill can be found here.
Protecting Arizona’s water is one of Rep. Gallego’s top priorities. Earlier this month, Rep. Gallego met with members of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) to discuss the ongoing negotiations concerning Arizona’s water allocation from the Colorado River Basin.
He also recently visited Mohave County, where he met with officials from the Bureau of Reclamation, local officials, and business leaders to discuss the Western water crisis.
Rep. Gallego is a long-time leader on Arizona water issues and joined the House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries this Congress. In addition to the Water Infrastructure Modernization Act, Rep. Gallego has also introduced legislation to prevent Arizona’s groundwater from exploitation by foreign governments.
He has also touted Arizona’s voluntary water conservation efforts and called on neighboring states to do the same.
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