Dec 21st 2016 | Posted in Water by Priscilla Loebenberg

The president signed into law on Friday legislation that will authorize about $10 billion in federal investment in water projects. The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act provides for stormwater management projects and more than 330 port, levee and dam projects. It also funds initiatives to develop alternative water supplies in drought areas.

“The WIIN Act invests in critical water infrastructure, including waterways, flood protection and other resources, in a commonsense, bipartisan way. These important projects will bring vitality to our economy and support needed improvements in communities across the country,” said U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.

The passage of the act will help fund a $445 million project to rehabilitate dams with a high hazard potential. Capito’s home state of West Virginia is home to 422 dams that may be included in the project. Also in West Virginia, the Kanawha River Basin will be studied for possible flood control and water resource projects.

Up to $170 million will be used to aid Flint, Mich., in recovering from a drinking water emergency. Funds will be used to replace pipes to households with lead-contaminated water as well as provide other aid.

“This is a very long, hard-fought victory,” said Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow. “This agreement achieves what we set out to accomplish from the beginning – pass urgently needed funding to help repair and replace drinking water infrastructure in Flint and other communities, and address the health care needs of children and families.”

The WIIN Act includes $558 million for drought relief in California. The funding includes water projects to promote water storage and supply, flood control, desalination and water recycling.

In Florida, the legislation will fund more than $1.5 billion in projects. About $976 million will be used for the Central Everglades Planning Project. The Picayune Strand restoration project will receive $308 million. The Port Everglades Dredging project will receive $220 million.


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