According to a press release, the bill would "would expand rebates and grants for water conservation and efficiency; support local investments in water recycling and improved groundwater management and storage; invest in research into water-saving technologies and desalination; and establish an open water data system. The measure would also help local communities take steps to become better prepared for drought."
The W21 label also seems a bit innovative, as it allows those tweeting about the bill to easily slip it into the text of a tweet and also use it as a hashtag.
A partial press release is located below the jump, which notes some significant provisions.
The legislation includes a number of important provisions that would help communities in California, Oregon and across the country:
Efficiency and Conservation
- Strengthens EPA’s WaterSense program, which promotes water conservation in products, buildings, and landscapes through information and rebates. The bill authorizes $50 million to administer the program and $700 million for rebates, through FY2019, and then funds them at FY2019 levels adjusted for inflation thereafter.
- Creates a new grant program within the Environmental Protection Agency for local water systems to conserve water, increase water efficiency or reuse water; modify or relocate existing water system infrastructure made or projected to be made inoperable by climate change impacts; preserve or improve water quality, and other projects.
Water Recycling, Storage, and Integrated Water Management
- Leverages federal financing – through loan guarantees and matching grants – to help support projects on a regional scale, including water recycling, ground water management, water storage and water conveyance infrastructure.
- $250 million over five years for secured loans.
- $150 million for integrated regional water management, reclamation, and recycling projects grants.
Innovation through Research, Data, and Technology
· Establishes an open water data system at the Department of the Interior.
- Reauthorizes the Water Resources Research Act at $9 million a year through 2020.
- Reauthorizes the Water Desalination Act at $3 million a year through 2020.
- Directs the Secretary of the Army to review reservoir operations and assess whether there is a benefit in adjusting operations to take into account improved forecasting data.
- Establishes Drought Resilience Guidelines for state and local agencies through EPA in coordination with USDA, Commerce and Interior.
- Directs U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in consultation with state and federal agencies, to prepare a salmon drought plan to address the impacts of drought on the salmon population.