December 12, 2018
NACWA: Bipartisan Farm Bill Passage ‘A Win’ for Public Clean Water Utilities, Farmers, Communities
‘Holistic Watershed Solutions’ Will Address US Water Quality Challenges
(Washington, DC) - The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) applauds Congress for its strong bipartisan support in passing the 2018 Farm Bill that will provide important policy and funding tools to better address many of the nation’s water quality challenges through holistic and collaborative watershed approaches.
NACWA played a key role in advancing elements of the Farm Bill that provide critical support for conservation, partnerships between municipalities and agricultural entities, as well as funding for water quality protection.
“NACWA thanks the House and Senate for their hard work and productive engagement over the past two years to ensure the Farm Bill included bipartisan provisions that make important advances in conservation and water quality,” said Adam Krantz, NACWA’s Chief Executive Officer. “The conservation and partnership language in the Farm Bill makes critical strides in acknowledging and encouraging the collaborative work between municipal clean water utilities and agricultural partners to address water quality challenges through holistic watershed approaches that can provide the most effective and cost-efficient water quality improvements.
“This is a win for farmers, public utilities, and communities across the country that rely on safe and affordable clean water. NACWA appreciates the steadfast commitment by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman, Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member, Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and House Agriculture Committee Chairman, Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member, Collin Peterson (D-MN), in getting this important bill across the finish line.
“NACWA also looks forward to working with our water sector and agricultural partners and the Administration to ensure timely implementation of these key policies.”
NACWA particularly appreciates language included in the Farm Bill that was championed by Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-OH) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), recognizing and encouraging partnerships at the watershed level between clean water utilities and farmers to advance the goals of the Clean Water Act and provide benefits to farmers, landowners and the public. This language affirms Congress’s intention for clean water utilities to be partners in conservation and water quality initiatives, and supports progress being made to address Clean Water Act regulatory obligations through watershed partnerships and innovative approaches. NACWA thanks both Congressman Gibbs and Senator Grassley for supporting this important provision.
The Farm Bill also includes important reforms to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), which numerous utilities have considered or used since its creation in the 2014 Farm Bill. These include streamlining the application process, providing an expedited renewal process, expanding in-kind match eligibility, increasing the focus on quantification of conservation outcomes, and robust funding. The Farm Bill also notably includes dedicated funding for source water protection, as well as support for implementing precision conservation practices and tracking conservation metrics. These provisions can help prevent excess nutrients from entering waterways and improve understanding of the impact of certain conservation practices on water quality.
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For nearly 50 years, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has been the nation’s recognized leader in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy on the full spectrum of clean water issues. NACWA represents public wastewater and stormwater agencies of all sizes nationwide. Our unique and growing network strengthens the advocacy voice for all member utilities, and ensures they have the tools necessary to provide affordable and sustainable clean water for all. Our vision is to represent every utility as a NACWA member, helping to build a strong and sustainable clean water future. For more information, visit us at www.nacwa.org.