2024 Smart Water Policies Fly-In advocates for groundwater industry

May 10, 2024

Water professionals from NGWA and the Water Quality Association advocated for critical groundwater issues at the 2024 Smart Water Policies Fly-In, May 7-8 in Washington, D.C.

The annual event serves as a platform for advocacy, education, and collaboration on issues crucial to water quality, sustainability, and public health.

Over the course of two days, professionals from the NGWA, WQA, and other water-related associations participated in a series of informative sessions and engaged discussions aimed at shaping smart groundwater policies for the future.

The first day of the event consisted of a series of educational policy panels, and presentations from a wide variety of policymakers and regulators in Washington, D.C.

Highlights of the educational sessions included:

  • A presentation on “The Impacts of Evolving PFAS Regulations” by NGWA Board1000011388 Director Seth Kellogg, PG, followed by a Q&A session with Richard Mest, a member of the Water Quality Association. Bruno Pigott, assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water, was in attendance, see photo to the right of him and Kellogg.
  • Insights into the Safe Drinking Water Act’s 50th Anniversary, presented by J. Alan Roberson, executive director of the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA).
  • A panel discussion on “Water Quality Challenges in the U.S.” moderated by NGWA President David Traut, MGWC, CVCLD, and featuring representatives from the Conference of Mayors, the National Council of State Legislators, and ASDWA, moderated by Jordan Kari from WQA’s Government Affairs.
    Xochitl Liana Torres Small, United States deputy secretary of agriculture, was in attendance, see photo below with her, Traut, and NGWA Board Director Eric Macias.1000011373
  • Senator Ben Cardin (Maryland) also attended the event to receive NGWA's Groundwater Protector Lifetime Award that was presented by NGWA Scientists and Engineers Section Board Director Erica DiFilippo, Ph.D., see photo below.

Day two of the Fly-In focused on members meeting individually with their lawmakers and staff to advocate for NGWA policy priorities. NGWA members attended GNJesJaWUAEMjTTmore than 40 meetings on Capitol Hill where they discussed policy priorities such as:

  • The passage of a comprehensive Farm Bill that includes funding for supporting private water systems and municipal wells.
  • Funding PFAS remediation projects and federal financial support of compliance of the newly released PFAS Maximum Contaminant Levels.
  • Supporting the Healthy H2O Act to provide grants to private well owners to purchase point-of-entry (POE) water treatment equipment where contaminated water exists.
  • Reauthorization of the Secure Water Act that includes language allowing tribal communities to access funding for the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network.

This will be the second consecutive year NGWA has partnered with the WQA in organizing the event and they plan to expand their partnership in years to come.

Click here to learn more about 2024 NGWA policy priorities.