In spite of the partisan scuffling that currently defines the atmosphere in Washington D.C., representatives from every position on the political spectrum came together on one issue this December: water. On December 10, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN), and less than a week later, President Obama signed it into law. WIIN's goal is to improve the health and viability of American waterways, protect drinking water quality and keep the US's harbors and ports up to the standards of the modern world.
WIIN approves almost $16 billion to be used on improvements to harbors, ports, dams and locks around the country from Alaska to Texas to New Hampshire. This work will be carried out by the Army Corps of Engineers and supports the international shipping and transportation industries, keeping the US competitive in the global market. Under WIIN, the Army Corps of Engineers will also conduct studies to assess the feasibility of 30 more projects to improve the conditions and navigability of other American waterways that might be carried out in the future.
Everyday consumers will also benefit from WIIN, as the legislation makes changes to the Safe Drinking Water and Solid Waste Disposal Acts with an eye towards preventing the next Flint, Michigan water crisis. WIIN promises to empower all communities, regardless of their social, economic or ethnic makeup, to protect their drinking water supplies through funding for increased water quality testing and lead reduction measures. Additionally, under the act, municipalities are required to notify water customers when the lead levels of public reservoirs exceed federally-established limits. Fifty million dollars was also earmarked for healthcare programs including support for children affected by lead poisoning and the creation of a lead exposure registry.
The act also takes water emergencies into consideration, establishing a drought relief system for afflicted California while improving water storage and delivery methods to better serve the victims of the next large-scale drought. At the other end of the spectrum, WIIN also funds infrastructure improvements to protect flood-prone areas from potential disasters. These considerations demonstrate WIIN's commitment to improving water infrastructure and quality of life for all American individuals and organizations.
While improving water quality across the board and supporting the growth of the shipping industry sound like daunting tasks, both can be simplified through scientific measurement and validation. MadgeTech, the New Hampshire data logging company, manufactures a variety of data loggers that support both key focal points of WIIN.
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