State Policy Showcases
State Policy Showcases are one-hour peer calls for organizations working and advocating for change at the state-level. They feature a state policy success that is part “policy nuts-and-bolts” (i.e. what the policy does, how it works) and part “how-to” (i.e. what it took to get the bill/policy/decision passed, advocacy strategy, etc.), followed by Q&A and discussion. Head over to our Events & Workshops page to discover upcoming State Policy Showcases.
How States Can Use Federal Covid-19 Relief Funds to Pay for Equitable Water Infrastructure State Policy Showcase
We forgot to hit record on our Showcase about how states are allocating American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for equitable water infrastructure! Here are some helpful links to supplement the Showcase, including the slides from Anna Killius’ presentation on Virginia’s priorities for infrastructure investment.
- ARPA Clean Water Funding in Virginia Presentation by Anna Killius of James River Association
- Michigan Senate Approves $3.3B Water Infrastructure Bill (12/3/21)
- Texas Living Waters Project’s Water Rescue: Using American Rescue Plan Act Funds to Improve Our Fragile Water Infrastructure campaign
- Massachusetts Rivers Alliance ARPA advocacy
- SC Governor McMaster Suggests $500M in Virus Money for Water, Sewer Work
- Virginia to Reduce Water Pollution, Increase Access to Clean Water – $411.5 million investment in American Rescue Plan funds will improve aging water and sewer infrastructure, restore waterways
- Kentucky devoted $250 million in grants to water and sewer infrastructure projects in a “Cleaner Water Program”
- Ohio allocated $250 million in grant funding as part of the Ohio BUILDS initiative (Broadband, Utilities, and Infrastructure for Local Development Success)
- Montana has dedicated 51% of its ARPA money to water and sewer infrastructure ($462.7 million) and established an Infrastructure Advisory Commission to review applications.
- National Conference of State Legislatures’ ARPA State Fiscal Recovery Fund Allocations (search by “water infrastructure”)
- This report from Drexel University is a useful primer on how states have delegated spending authority of ARPA funds and which have partially or fully allocated their funds already.
- River Network’s blog post: Funding Water Infrastructure in Your Community with American Rescue Plan Dollars
U.S. Department of Treasury Resources:
- You can sign up to receive updates from the U.S. Department of Treasury on states’ reporting and compliance related to fiscal recovery funds.
- U.S. Treasury blog post “Early Data Shows State and Local Governments Are Committing Recovery Funds to Build an Equitable Recovery”
- Final Rule on the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds goes into effect April 1, 2022. It includes additional eligible water and sewer infrastructure investments, including a wider array of lead remediation and stormwater management projects.
Human Right to Water State Policy Showcase
Virginia and California’s Human Right to Water policies are highlighted in this Showcase featuring Jorge Aguilar from Food & Water Watch and Amanda Monaco from Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability.
- The United Nations (UN) first adopted the “human right to water” in 2010 to address poverty reduction and sustainable development. The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights also adopted General Comment No. 15 on the right to water.
- California’s Human Right to Water portal.
- Virginia’s Human Right to Water resolution
- Oregon passed a resolution in 2021 that included “the right of all people to clean air, safe and affordable drinking water and… Oregon will make investments in watershed protection and water infrastructure to safeguard the water on which we currently depend…”
Sewage Right-to-Know State Policy Showcase
- Exposure to untreated, or partially treated, sewage in our waters poses serious health risks. It is imperative that people are sufficiently notified when sewage spills threaten their health and safety. There are currently no comprehensive federal requirements to notify people when there are sewage spills or leaks.
- New York’s 2012 Sewage Right to Know law
- Massachusetts’ 2021 Sewage Right to Know law
- Massachusetts River Alliance’s journey to getting the law passed and working on implementation
Max Gomberg with Water Foundation and former Climate and Conservation Manager at California’s State Water Resources Control Board discusses LIHWAP implementation. The “Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program” (LIHWAP) was created as an emergency program to provide funds to help low-income households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic pay their water and wastewater bills, avoid water shut-offs and support water reconnections related to nonpayment. The program was funded through two Congressional spending packages: $638 million as part of the $2.3 trillion spending package passed in December 2020 and $500 million from the American Rescue Plan passed in March 2021.
- LIHWAP website
- Report on the implementation of the first Federal water assistance program (LIHWAP) by The Center for Water Security and Cooperation
- River Network’s blog post: Moving Toward Water Equity & Affordability: Low Income Household Water Assistance