Eastern Municipal Water District
P.O. Box 8300
Perris, CA 92572-8300
(909) 928-3777 x 4526
Fax (909) 928-6160
Testimony of Rodger D. Siems
President, Board of Directors,
Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD)
February 28, 2002
Good morning Chairman Jefford, Senator Smith, Senator Graham, Senator Crapo, and members of the Committee, my name is Rodger Siems. I am the President of the Board of Directors for Eastern Municipal Water District in Perris, California.
Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) supports the purposes of S. 1961, the Water Investment Act of 2002. We believe S. 1961 takes a meaningful first step toward addressing the infrastructure funding gap through the authorization of increased funding for state revolving funds (SRFs). EMWD provides water and wastewater service to a population of 480,000 in the arid west region of the nation where native water resources are scarce. Due to the lack of plentiful indigenous water sources, EMWD is committed to water conservation and recycled water programs and sustainability of our groundwater resources. EMWD is therefore very pleased that S. 1961 provides funds for water conservation, reuse, reclamation, and/or recycling projects.
EMWD is particularly supportive of the requirement in S. 1961 that loan recipients adopt, in both policy and practice, basic elements of asset management. Water and wastewater infrastructure systems provide services essential to public health. EMWD believes that proficient asset management is core to managing utility operations. Water and wastewater managers must ensure adequate operation of their facilities by using all the tools available to them and asset management is the most effective tool for managing present and future infrastructure. Requiring good asset management as a loan condition helps ensure wise and effective spending.
EMWD also supports the concept of requiring loan recipients to achieve a rate structure that reflects the true cost of service and addresses capital replacement funds. EMWD is concerned that agencies that have not adopted a rate structure that pays for the true cost of their operations are undercharging for their services and are placing a tremendous burden on future ratepayers.
EMWD believes these loan recipient requirements, asset management and rate restructuring, will promote self-sustaining water and wastewater operations and help limit future requests for federal funding.
Thank you for introducing S. 1961. It is a crucial first step to ensure the needs of America's water and wastewater infrastructure are met.