WASHINGTON — Over 170 water utility leaders from 47 states will take to Capitol Hill April 17, 2013 to urge passage of legislation that would create a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority to confront America’s growing water infrastructure challenge, according to a press release.

The delegates are part of the Water Matters! Fly In, an event sponsored by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

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In addition to supporting WIFIA, utility leaders will advocate for the protection of water infrastructure bonds and the affordability of federal water mandates, noted the release.

WIFIA would make low-interest federal loans available for large water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

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A WIFIA pilot program is already included in the U.S. Senate Water Resources Development Act (S.601), and water leaders are urging introduction of similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, stated the release.

“The time is right to confront the water infrastructure challenge with innovative solutions,” said AWWA Executive Director David LaFrance. “We are closer than ever to bi-partisan legislation that strikes the right balance between local responsibility and federal assistance. WIFIA would go a long way toward helping local communities address their water infrastructure needs.”

Read the entire press release here.