US government US$ 50 million boost applauded

The WateReuse Association said it “applauds” a recent pledge by US secretary of the interior, Sally Jewel, that the federal government will invest US$ 50 million in water reuse and conservation projects in 12 western states. The funding will comes from the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSmart programme, which has provided about US$ 250 million in funding since 2010.

“Given the tremendous drought facing the west and the identified US$ 2.8 billion funding gap for planned water infrastructure, it is essential that we make adequate funding a priority,” said WateReuse executive director, Melissa Meeker.

Despite the funding boost, the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation – which supports the western US in its bid to meet water supply demand — will continue to have a backlog of water reuse projects in need of funding support. Communities beyond of the Bureau of Reclamation’s jurisdiction also struggle to find adequate funding to develop resilient water supplies that can withstand drought, climate change, population growth, and other factors.

“We are hopeful that the administration and congress will continue to focus on assisting the states and local water agencies to relieve future droughts by supporting innovative water reuse infrastructure funding programs,” Meeker said.