Water-Related News

Senate passes bipartisan $35B water infrastructure bill

A bipartisan bill to boost funding for states' water infrastructure passed the Senate 89-2 Thursday, sending it to the House of Representatives.

The measure, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021, would put $35 billion toward state water infrastructure programs. It authorizes gradual increases in funding for state water infrastructure systems from fiscal 2022 through 2026, beginning with $2.4 billion and ending with $3.25 billion.

The bill also establishes an operational sustainability program for smaller water systems such as those under the jurisdiction of Native American tribes, and authorizes $50 million annually for fiscal years 2022-2026.

It also creates a separate grant program for large and midsize drinking water systems, with 50 percent of the funding required to go to systems that serve between 10,000 and 100,000 people. The other half must be used for systems serving populations of at least 100,000.

The bill would nearly double funding for grants aimed at removing lead from drinking water, from $60 million to $100 million per year. The Biden administration, as part of its infrastructure plan, has pledged to replace the entirety of the nation’s lead pipes. Lead in drinking water has been linked to brain and neurological damage in children, including in the case of Flint, Mich., which saw its water supply contaminated by lead.

SJRWMD Board approves funding for five Lake County ag cost-share projects

Board approves ranking of agricultural projects that conserve water, reduce nutrients

COCOA — Fifteen agricultural projects will share in cost-share funds from two different funding programs of the St. Johns River Water Management District to assist farmers and growers on projects that conserve water and reduce nutrient loading to area waterways.

“Since the Districtwide Agricultural Cost-Share Program began in July 2015, we have funded 103 partnership projects to help farmers and growers conserve water and reduce nutrient loads,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Governing Board approved the following eight projects to receive Districtwide Agricultural Cost-Share Program funds this cycle:

  • Long and Scott Farms Inc., for irrigation conversion
  • Cherrylake Inc., for irrigation retrofit
  • Twin Lakes-Cherrylake Partnership LLC, for pump automation
  • Summer Lake-Grace Grover Partnership, for pump automation
  • Lennon & Wilson, for pump automation

Including three other projects in Alachua, Marion, and Putnam Counties, these projects are estimated to collectively conserve 57 million gallons of water a year and reduce total nitrogen by 6,614 pounds and total phosphorus by 761 pounds per year. Since 2012 the District has funded more than 225 agricultural cost-share projects.