Utility Outreach to Congress Key to Inclusion of Water Funding in Future Stimulus Legislation
(April 10, 2020) – NACWA and the water sector continue to engage with Congress on a daily basis to ensure future stimulus legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic includes assistance to public clean water utilities. This assistance will help clean water agencies maintain critical services during the coronavirus pandemic and to mitigate projected losses of revenue and impacts to scheduled investments.
Members of Congress, however, need to hear directly from NACWA member public agencies and private sector companies about your specific challenges. NACWA encourages all members to use this template letter to write your federal House and Senate delegations to urge additional federal support to the water sector.
While the timing and makeup of the next stimulus package remains unclear, assistance to the water sector is actively in play in both the House and Senate in large part due to the Congressional advocacy of NACWA members which has helped lay the groundwork. But it is critical all members consistently and continuously reach out to their congressional delegations to ensure inclusion.
Key congressional staff have continued to emphasize the need for public utilities to reach out to their respective Senators and Representatives and provide them with facts and figures on the direct economic impacts they are incurring or expect to incur as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
NACWA’s conservative estimated revenue shortfall to the public clean water sector is approximately $12.5 billion, which assumes a 20% annual revenue loss. This estimate has been helpful in elevating the economic needs of the clean water sector to Congress, as has the growing media attention around the issue.
Going forward, individual utility outreach, especially to key members of Congressional leadership and committees, is critical to ensuring the sector’s economic needs are met in any further stimulus legislation, both for low income household assistance programs and industrial and business revenue loses.
NACWA requests that members reach out to their Senators and Representatives about the impacts of the pandemic on their utility and their ratepayers. NACWA’s legislative staff is happy to provide members with any needed contact information for specific Congressional offices. Please also send copies of any letters to Congress to NACWA by emailing contact Kristina Surfus or Jason Isakovic on NACWA’s legislative teamThe status of future stimulus legislation remains fluid on Capitol Hill, however NACWA will continue to provide updates as they occur. In the meantime, please contact Kristina Surfus or Jason Isakovic on NACWA’s legislative team to discuss further. As always, the entire NACWA staff welcomes your outreach and stands ready to offer any help we can during this challenging time.