America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA) specifies funding for many important water infrastructure initiatives that affect communities across the nation. All in all, AWIA is a comprehensive law that provides widespread requirements and support, with the goal of ensuring all community water systems are able to best serve their communities.
One of the highlights of AWIA is that it provides funding for Community Water Systems to assist in strengthening the resiliency of their systems. Grant money is anticipated to be available to assist in the planning, design, construction, implementation, operation, or maintenance of a program or project that increases resilience to natural hazards through:
- Conservation of water or the enhancement of water use efficiency;
- Modification or relocation of existing drinking water system infrastructure made, or that is at risk of being significantly impaired by natural hazards, including risks to drinking water from flooding;
- Design or construction of desalination facilities to serve existing communities;
- Enhancement of water supply through the use of watershed management and source water protection;
- Enhancement of water efficiency or the use and generation of renewable energy in the conveyance or treatment of drinking water; or
- Development and implementation of measures to increase the resilience of the eligible entity to natural hazards.
Among other funding, AWIA outlines an Innovative Water Technology Grant Program (Sec. 2007) in which public water systems are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $5 million to develop, test, and deploy innovative water technologies; or provide technical assistance to deploy demonstrated innovative water technologies. Priority will be given to projects that “have the potential to reduce ratepayer or community costs or costs of future capital investments; to significantly improve human health or the environment; or to provide additional drinking water supplies with minimal environmental impact.” Grants awarded under this program may include projects that are carried out by a public water system in cooperation with a private entity.
Furthermore, there is grant money and technical assistance available for schools and child care programs to test for lead contamination in drinking water. Also, under Title II (Drinking Water System Improvement) of AWIA there is funding specified towards Native American Reservation drinking water programs to provide support to Tribal Community Water Systems.
Contact Ryan Graf, AE2S Nexus Financial Analyst and Funding Development Director, for AWIA funding guidance.