(October 3, 2017) -- In the face of severe proposed budget cuts, water sector associations are advocating for continued funding of EPA’s Water Security Division (WSD), within the Office of Water. NACWA collaborated with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) on a joint letter dated September 29 to the leaders of the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies; along with a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
Both letters urged Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) funding for WSD at the FY17 level, to allow WSD to continue to provide tools and training for the nation’s drinking water and wastewater utilities. The Administration’s FY18 budget proposed elimination of funding for WSD, except for minimal resources to allow EPA to fulfill its security oversight responsibilities as the Sector Specific Agency.
WSD provides a wide variety of tools, training, and information to improve the resiliency and emergency response of the water sector. Each year, WSD trains over 5,000 utilities, state officials, and federal emergency responders to improve the sector’s preparedness and response to natural and manmade hazards. WSD coordinates closely with the water sector associations, the Water Sector Coordinating Council (WSSC), and federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
NACWA member agencies that have benefited from WSD tools and training are encouraged to contact Cynthia Finley.