Rural water quality groups testify in ongoing 2023 Farm Bill discussions

Water groups like the Water Quality Association and Research Foundation (WQA) testified on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, pointing out that while USDA Rural Development programs have helped advance rural water quality and access, more needs to be done.

Nearly 23 million U.S. homes are not served by a public water system. Small communities have also reported over 31,000 maximum contaminant level violations over the course of a decade.

Water groups like the Water Quality Association and Research Foundation (WQA) testified on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, pointing out that while USDA Rural Development programs have helped advance rural water quality and access, more needs to be done.

“WQA strongly encourages this subcommittee to prioritize the implementation of point of views and point of entry solutions as a key tool for modernizing rural water systems,” said WQA CEO Pauli Undesser. “WQA is particularly supportive of S-806, which is known as the Healthy Water Act, and urges the subcommittee to include this essential legislation within the 2023 Farm Bill. This bipartisan bicameral legislation would provide grants to low and moderate-income households and licensed childcare facilities in rural communities to conduct water quality testing and to fund the purchase, installation, and maintenance of water treatment solutions.”

Joseph Duncan, an engineer with the Champlain Water District in Vermont also testified. He explained to the subcommittee that infrastructure—such as a resilient electric grids—are vital in rural water systems.

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