ASDWA Asks President Biden to Fully Fund the SRFs in Joint Letter from Thirteen Water Organizations

In a February 2 letter, ASDWA joined twelve other water sector associations urging President Biden to fully fund the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) at $3 billion each in the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget. The letter highlights that the Clean Water SRF and the Drinking Water SRF appropriations in 2022 remained the same as before the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) at $1,638,826,000 and $1,126,088,000, respectively. Additionally, the 2022 capitalization grant was used to pay for $838 million in congressionally directed spending (previously called earmarks). These earmarks continued in 2023 and resulted in more than half of
the appropriation – $1.46 billion – being diverted to congressionally directed spending projects. The letter states that due to congressional earmarks over the past two years, annual funding for Clean Water SRF state projects has been cut by 40%, and annual funding for Drinking Water SRF state projects has been cut by 45%.

The letter argues that “[w]ithout SRF subsidized loans, small communities would have few, if any, viable financial options to repair their aging water infrastructure and protect the public health of their citizens.” And “medium and large communities would likely face higher interest rates, which are passed onto households in higher water bills, exacerbating the financial burden on low-income households.” To avoid these outcomes, the thirteen organizations call for President Biden to fund the Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF programs in the 2024 budget to the full authorized amount in federal law, $3 billion each.

Alongside ASDWA, the signatories include the American Public Works Association, the American Water Works Association, the Association of Clean Water Administrators, the Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities, the Environmental Policy Innovation Center, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the National Association of Water Companies, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association, the Water Environment Federation, the WaterNow Alliance, and the WateReuse Association.