Eighty House Democrats signed a letter sent to leaders in Congress asking that the next coronavirus response bill include water funding.
The letter makes three direct requests:
- At least $12.5 billion in direct assistance for water and wastewater utilities to provide aid to customers and offset revenue declines from those who cannot pay their bills. The figure comes from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, which did a back-of-the-envelope calculation estimating a 20 percent decline in revenue.
- Requiring that all utilities that receive federal funds not disconnect water service for households that are late paying their bills during the pandemic emergency, and that utilities reconnect water service to homes that were previously disconnected.
- Federal funding for existing water infrastructure programs through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. An amount was not specified.
“A robust water infrastructure funding program would not only help protect the public’s health, but it would also provide long-term economic stimulus to our country,” the representatives assert.