This week, President Trump signed S. 3021 (Public Law No: 115-270), the America’s Water Infrastructure Now Act of 2018, or the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018, into law. The Senate passed this bill by a vote of 99-1, while the House passed it by voice vote. Read ASCE’s official statement on the House’s September passage of WRDA, as well as the press release issued by us and our partner organizations on the Water Infrastructure Now (WIN) coalition.
Throughout 2018, ASCE members and staff advocated for improvement in all 16 infrastructure categories, including water-related categories. Continue reading to find out how ASCE’s advocacy efforts drove the passage of this year’s WRDA reauthorization.
ASCE Advocates for WRDA
The passage of WRDA was a key issue at ASCE’s 2018 legislative fly-in in March. The signing of this bill into law would not have been possible without the incredible advocacy of ASCE’s members. Advocacy efforts included– over 1,600 emails to over 320 congressional offices!
ASCE’s efforts at the legislative fly-in were quickly followed in May with ASCE Past-President Kristina Swallow’s testimony before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee about the importance of long-term, strategic investment in America’s water resources systems.
Say “Thank You!”
We are pleased that this legislation includes so many of ASCE’s water infrastructure priorities and that WRDA was passed during its regular biennial cycle – this is the third WRDA bill since 2014. We urge you to contact your Members of Congress and thank them for their vote for this important legislation bill. We also want to sincerely thank ASCE’s Key Contacts for their hard work and support throughout the legislative process.
This bill authorizes key programs and projects that are critical to improving our nation’s water-related infrastructure categories. The 2017 Infrastructure Report Card graded each of these categories as follows:
The final legislative language contains many of the provisions that ASCE has championed, including three of ASCE members’ “asks” during our March 2018 Legislative Fly-In:
- Reauthorization of the National Levee Safety Program andthe National Dam Safety Program, both of which are designed to improve dam and levee safety.
- Authorization of the Securing Required Funds for Water Infrastructure Now(SRF WIN) Act, a new financing vehicle for critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects to help restore our nation’s water infrastructure.
- Finally, the legislation includes reauthorization of two additional programs ASCE supports – the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) successful Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (WIFIA) and reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for three-years at increasing funding levels, eventually rising to $1.95 billion in FY2021.