From the Document: "Several water service issues have garnered increased congressional attention during the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic. Among these, some are long-standing concerns over household water-rate affordability and the condition of municipal water infrastructure. Other issues have emerged as water systems and/or local governments have experienced COVID-19-related revenue shortages, which may affect water systems' operations, maintenance, and/or financial sustainability. During the pandemic, Congress has enacted a number of proposals to address these and other issues. To address water-rate affordability, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260) provided $638 million for water or wastewater rate assistance on behalf of low-income households. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA; P.L. 117-2) included another $500 million for such assistance, and provided $350 billion for state and local governments for COVID-19-related purposes, among them water or sewer infrastructure investments. This Insight briefly reviews water system financial practices, and identifies some challenges for water service providers and their customers raised by the pandemic. It also discusses recent congressional actions to address these issues."
CRS Insight, IN11642
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/