Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., introduced legislation March 5 that would establish an Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) focused on developing innovative technology to improve water management.

Cosponsored by Rep. Daniel Kildee, D-Mich., the bipartisan ARPA-Water (ARPA-H20) Act of 2020 would support research and development with private sector companies to provide more communities with access to new methods of affordable water treatment and management.

“Aging water infrastructure poses a serious threat to our drinking water … The ARPA-H2O Act will establish an agency within the EPA dedicated to developing innovative technology that improves water treatment, modernizes water management systems, and reduces the cost burden on local municipalities and rate payers,” Katko said.

He added that the legislation builds on past House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee efforts to “bring our water infrastructure into the 21st century.”

Katko also highlighted companies like Xylem Inc. for their water tech leadership. The water resources solutions company in New York develops new technology to modernize water infrastructure and create sustainable water management. Joseph Vesey, senior vice president for Xylem, applauded Katko’s ARPA-Water legislation. Other groups, such as the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the Water Environment Federation, also support the measure.

The bill currently sits with the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. There does not appear to be a companion bill in the Senate.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.