In the United States, some regions face continual issues in relation to water use and management. Water related problems are compounded as a result of droughts in places like California while shortfalls in budgetary allocations limit what the State Government can do to alleviate these problems.
Federal Aid in the form of Economic Stimulus Money for Water Projects
For areas facing long term water challenges, relief under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 comes in the form of federal economic stimulus money being provided for projects involving the supply of clean and reliable drinking water and improving of waste water treatment Procurement bids plants around the nation. The US government’s aim in providing economic stimulus money is to fund clean water projects while also creating new jobs that will help revive the economy.
Water Projects Eligible for Economic Stimulus Money
Water Pipeline tender projects to upgrade or expand sewer infrastructure and waste water treatment plants, restoring the existing waterways to improve water quality and projects that use innovative methods to recycle and utilize water, all receive economic stimulus money.
Small communities often face problems with water systems in the form of small waste water treatment plants that may be unable to provide the required services effectively. Federal funding or economic stimulus money is also made available to such communities that face water related issues.
Rural water projects also get federal funding so that rural communities have access to quality water supply systems and waste water treatment plants.
Economic stimulus money for water projects has assisted in setting up wastewater treatment systems, water recycling facilities, storm water treatment, sewers and sewer interceptors and given a boost to watershed and estuary protection efforts.
Screening Process for Economic Stimulus Money
To be eligible for economic stimulus money the applicant must undertake a financial credit review. Water Construction projects desirous of federal funding must abide by Public Contracting Code. The recipients of economic stimulus money must possess the technical capability to complete the project within the stipulated time. In addition, they must also have the financial as well as managerial experience to make wise decisions to ensure financial viability of the project.
The applications for economic stimulus money go through a screening process wherein the Water Board’s engineering staff evaluates the project plans. Project specifications and designs are reviewed to ensure that the design is able to achieve the project goal. Throughout the construction phase, the recipients of funding must submit progress reports each quarter.
Reimbursement of costs and requests for payment must be supported by invoices that are verified by the project manager in order to ensure that the costs claimed are indeed meant for the wastewater treatment project approved for economic stimulus money. Also, spot inspections are carried out by the Board’s officials to verify the progress of construction.
President Obama’s economic stimulus package has given a major boost to Wastewater projects. Although a lot more funding is required, it is a step in the right direction to safeguard and improve the country’s water infrastructure.