WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate passed legislation that would create a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority, a key development in addressing America’s trillion-dollar water infrastructure challenge, according to a press release.

A WIFIA pilot program is included in the Water Resources Development Act of 2013 (S. 601), which passed by a vote of 83-14.

It now moves on to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration, noted the release.

[Related content: AWWA testifies before congress on water infrastructure finance tools and WIFIA]

The American Water Works Association, which developed the WIFIA concept, called WIFIA’s passage a “huge step forward” for water consumers and urged broad support as the legislation heads to the House.

“Today’s approval of WIFIA by the U.S. Senate represents a huge step forward in confronting America’s water infrastructure challenge,” said AWWA Executive Director David LaFrance. “WIFIA would repair more critical water infrastructure at a lower cost to our communities. With so many of our nation’s water pipes in need of replacement, WIFIA will benefit everyone who receives a water bill.

Read the entire press release here.