Thank you to all that supported Water Week 2019– we look forward to an even bigger and better event next year! Mark your calendar for Water Week 2020, April 26 -May 2, 2020. If you or your members have feedback from congressional visits or successes you’d like to share from local events, please share this information with Kristina Surfus or Jason Isakovic, NACWA’s Legislative Team.
An anchor event of Water Week, the 2019 National Water Policy Fly-In set a record for attendance and participation as more than 320+ participants came to DC taking to Capitol Hill and conducting hundreds of consequential face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and staffers in many congressional offices.
As described by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), one of several congressional speakers during the Fly-In, Water Week have become, and will continue to be, “absolutely crucial to galvanizing lawmakers” to pay attention to, and act on, clean water advocacy priorities.
Fly-In participants were strategically unified in asking for increased investment on a range of key water sector programs including the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF), the Water Infrastructure Finance & Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, and the National Water Research Grant Program, among others. The full list of “asks” are outlined in the event’s “leave-behind” document, the Water Week One-Pager.
A presentation on “EPA’s Water Priorities” allowed participants to listen as EPA officials discussed their plans for the coming year. Federal agency breakout discussions then followed and covered topics such as “Water Infrastructure Funding, Water Finance, WIFIA and Affordability;” “CSOs and Post-LTCP Compliance, SSOs and Peak Flow Management;” “PFAS and Other CWA/SDWA Intersection Issues;” “Integrated Planning, Stormwater and Green Infrastructure;” and more.
Participants interacted with congressional members and staffers at the “Congressional Breakfast” and “Joint Water Week Congressional Briefing.” The Hon. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Ranking Member of the Water Resources & Environment Subcommittee of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee; and the Hon. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Member of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water, of the US Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, were on hand to champion water infrastructure legislation and funding programs, and to re-emphasize their commitment to supporting Clean Water and to working as partners to advance Clean Water priorities.
Participants were also able to network, as well as celebrate advocacy gains at the “Congressional Reception,” where the Hon. Tom Carper (D-DE), Ranking Member of the US Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, encouraged all attendees to continue their personal advocacy for Clean Water on the all-important local level.
“It does make a difference!” proclaimed Carper. “You worked with us in order to pass legislation earlier this year—the House, the Senate and the Administration. We need your help again. There is no life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without water.”
NACWA thanks its Fly-In partners the Water Environment Federation, the Water Research Foundation, and the WateReuse Association for their collaboration.