WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) introduced the Water Infrastructure Sustainability and Efficiency (WISE) Act. The bill will permanently set aside 20 percent of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for environmentally friendly water infrastructure projects. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund provides states with funds for water quality projects at the state and local level and is the largest source of federal financing for clean water infrastructure projects. Congresswoman Williams introduced similar legislation in the 117th Congress. Congresswoman Emilia Strong Sykes (OH-13) is co-leading introduction of the WISE Act.
Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) said:
“Clean water is an environmental justice issue. The health of all communities, especially the most marginalized communities, are at risk when they lack access to clean water. But I am dedicated to finding permanent infrastructure solutions to help everyone lead healthy, happy lives – no matter your ZIP Code or bank account.”
Congresswoman Emilia Strong Sykes (OH-13) said:
“All Ohioans deserve access to clean water, but our aging infrastructure threatens the health and safety of our communities. The WISE Act will build upon the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic investments to strengthen our water systems by ensuring critical funding from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund is used to build resilient water infrastructure that safeguards our environment. As the Vice Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I am proud to support innovative efforts like these that improve the quality of our water and environment.”
The WISE Act is supported by numerous environmental organizations including American Rivers, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, and the Water Environment Federation.
Gary Belan, Senior Director, Clean Water Supply Program, American Rivers said:
“Clean water is an essential element for our communities – we can’t live without it. The best way to ensure we have clean water is to pair natural infrastructure projects, like green roofs, stream buffers and urban forests with traditional water infrastructure. American Rivers endorses the WISE Act and is grateful to Congresswoman Nikema Williams for her work on pioneering this legislation which is critical to jumpstarting hundreds of natural infrastructure projects. From permeable pavements to stream buffers, these solutions enhance community health and safety, create good jobs in many sectors that boost our economy, and provide recreation, wildlife, and other transformative benefits.”
Ron Burke, President and CEO of Alliance for Water Efficiency said:
“The WISE Act can provide a much-needed investment in water efficiency and conservation, which are typically the fastest and least expensive ways to save water while also lowering water bills, reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, protecting rivers and lakes, and enhancing resilience to extreme weather events.”
Torey Carter-Conneen, CEO, American Society of Landscape Architects said:
“The WISE Act will ensure that more communities will have access to green infrastructure and nature-based solutions to address their water and stormwater management issues. As a result, communities most in need will have resources to experience less flooding, enjoy cleaner drinking water, and access healthier recreational water bodies. We urge Congress to pass this measure.”
Click here for the text of the Wise Act.
Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District on the exclusive Financial Services Committee. She is a champion of voting rights and builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement. Congresswoman Williams is also committed to closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of your ZIP code or bank account.