ALEXANDRA, Va. — The WateReuse Association applauds U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel’s announcement that the federal government will invest $50 million 12 Western states for water reuse and conservation projects, according to a press release.

The funding comes from the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSmart program, which has supplied approximately $250 million in funding since 2010, stated the release.

“Given the tremendous drought facing the west and the identified $2.8 billion funding gap for planned water infrastructure, it is essential that we make adequate funding a priority,” said WateReuse Executive Director Melissa Meeker.

Supporting the Western U.S. in meeting water supply needs, the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation will continue to have a “backlog of water reuse projects in need of funding support,” even with the recent investment announcement, reported the release, and many communities outside of the Western region, which are outside of the purview of the bureau, are in need of funding to develop resilient water supplies to withstand drought, population growth, climate change and other factors.

“We believe a real commitment to improving our water infrastructure is critical and are hopeful that the administration and Congress will continue to focus on assisting the states and local water agencies to help relieve the burden of this and future droughts by supporting innovative water reuse infrastructure funding programs,” stated Meeker.

WateReuse is partnering with the Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) to coordinate testimony for a congressional briefing hosted by Rep. Bob Gibbs on June 11 to help “better share the benefits of water reuse in water supply resilience preparation,” noted the release.

Read the entire release here.