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ARCSA Urges Support for CA Bills S2771 and HR5363
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December 7, 2014

 

Congresspersons DeFazio (D.-OR) and Napolitano (D.-CA)
United States House of Representatives
506 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0501

 

Senators Boxer and Feinstein (D.-CA)
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-0504

 

Dear Congresspersons DeFazio and Napolitano, Senators Boxer and Feinstein:

 

The mission of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) is to promote sustainable rainwater harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world. ARCSA is the national leader in promoting the training and installation of rain harvesting systems, in educational programs and in the development of standards and codes for the safe use of harvested rainwater.

 

ARCSA strongly supports legislation in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives that aims to help communities nationwide better prepare for the future by providing new incentives and investments to help residents, businesses and local water agencies conserve, recycle and manage limited water supplies. Introduced in the Senate (S. 2771) by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and in the House (H.R. 5363) by Reps. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR), “W21: Water in the 21st Century” would expand rebates and grants for water conservation and efficiency; support local investments in water recycling and improved groundwater and storage; invest in research into water-saving technologies and desalination; and establish an open water data system. The measure also would seek to help local communities take steps to become better prepared for drought.

 

The legislation would strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program, which promotes water conservation in products, buildings and landscapes through information and rebates. It also would create a new grant program within the EPA for local water systems to conserve water, increase water efficiency or reuse water; modify or relocate existing water system infrastructure made or projected to be made inoperable by climate change impacts; preserve or improve water quality; and other projects.

 

On behalf of ARCSA, we request that you support this legislation, which will also empower people to undertake rainwater harvesting to help solve national economic and resource challenges. These bills would also facilitate the growth of the embryonic but promising rain harvesting industry. Doing so will create new jobs associated with design; installation; education; research and development; component and consumable sales; plumbing; landscaping; roofing; guttering and maintenance of rain harvesting systems, all of which could lead to establishing a dominant U.S. position in this fledgling field, with compounding fiscal benefits. The virtues of doing so include:

• The rainwater harvesting industry is small but has nevertheless grown steadily in the face of adverse economic and regulatory conditions;
• Rainwater is an underutilized economic resource that should be converted into jobs;
• Rainwater harvesting has been practiced widely throughout the world for millennia to meet potable and non-potable needs; ·
• Harvesting rainwater makes good use of what could otherwise become polluting stormwater;
• The national water infrastructure is aging, which provides opportunities for investment in decentralized and therefore more secure water-supply solutions;
• ARCSA was instrumental in developing the first national standard to guide the design and installation of rainwater harvesting systems with the publication of ARCSA/ASPE/ANSI Standard 63-2013, and is currently developing the first such standard for stormwater; and
• State, county and local jurisdictions often lack awareness of the opportunities and safety of proper rainwater harvesting, and often adopt local codes that diverge from the recommendations of the national code bodies.
Given these benefits, ARCSA urges you to support S2771 and HR5363 to enable citizens, businesses and municipalities to harness the potential of rainwater harvesting to create new jobs and to bolster the general economic welfare of the United States, by converting this valuable and often-wasted resource into a multifaceted economic engine.

 

I would welcome a conversation if you have any questions.

 

Sincerely,
David Crawford, President
American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association

 

CC: Dave Viola, International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)

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