Water Sector Commends Congress for Water Relief in Appropriations Package

A joint statement from water sector associations looks forward to building on this success this year

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The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 was recently passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump. The spending bill includes $638 million for low-income water utility bill assistance, along with $25 billion for a rental assistance program that can also be used to help offset utility payments.

The low-income utility bill assistance program will provide grants to states and tribes, who in turn will provide funds to public water systems to reduce rates.

The rental assistance program will distribute funds to states, along with municipalities with populations above 200,000. Funds will be made available to low-income renters affected by the economic crisis for up to 15 months.

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Water Environment Federation, American Water Works Association, National Rural Water Association, and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies released the following joint statement:

“The water community and its customers are grateful to Congress for including $638M in assistance to low-income water customers in the final Fiscal Year 2021 Consolidated Appropriations bill. This funding — the first of its kind — recognizes the critical role of drinking water and wastewater services and the increased strain many households are facing in paying their water bills. While communities and utilities work to offer customer assistance and flexibility to those in need, the scope of the public health and economic crisis requires a federal hand. We look forward to working with the 117th Congress and incoming Biden Administration to further assist customers in need and local utilities that are suffering under the effects of these crises.”

The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 is a $2.3 trillion spending bill that combines $900 billion in stimulus relief for the COVID-19 pandemic with $1.4 trillion in spending for the 2021 federal fiscal year. The bill is one of the largest spending measures ever enacted, surpassing the $2.2 trillion CARES Act of March 2020.


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