A massive, bipartisan clean water infrastructure bill passed the Senate 89-2 on Thursday. The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act would create a $35 billion fund for states and tribes to improve water systems — 40 percent of which would go to underserved, rural, and tribal communities.
The legislation would fund projects that address aging infrastructure and improve water quality, remove lead pipes from schools, and update infrastructure to be more resilient to the impacts of extreme weather and climate change. The bill, having passed the Senate, will now move to the House of Representatives.
Such an influx in funding for America’s aging water systems is long overdue, policy experts, environmentalists, and urban planners argue. A 2018 study of 30 years of data found that in any given year, as many as 10 percent of community water systems in the United States have health-based violations, affecting up to 45 million people annually. In addition, more than 2 million Americans live without access to drinking water and sanitation services — such as safe drinking water, plumbing in the home, and wastewater removal and treatment... Read more