The Senate has overwhelmingly passed the Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, a massive piece of legislation that will provide funding for hundreds of dam, hydropower, and water storage projects across the country.
The legislation has won the praise of the National Hydropower Association, whose president, Linda Church Ciocci, said the bill provides the country “an opportunity to more efficiently develop new projects that add generation to non-powered dams, closed-loop storage, and conduit power projects.”
An important part of the new legislation, also known as Senate Bill 3021, is an updated Water Resources Development Act, which will set in place some $3.7 billion in federal funds for Corps of Engineers flood protection projects.
The bill will also provide funding for drinking water sustainability projects, as well as money for sewer overflow control grants.
Funding authorized by the legislation will go to all 50 states, and additionally will support port, inland waterway and irrigation system upgrades, along with increased water storage capacity projects.
Passed unanimously in the House in September and now in the Senate on a 99 to 1 vote, the legislation also uniquely will put in motion a process de-authorizing some $4 billion in what are classified as “unnecessary projects,” or projects that earlier secured funding but never became reality.
The legislation is now on its way to President Trump for his signature.
By Garry Boulard
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