The US government announced it will allocate US$37.5bn to fund energy and water programmes in 2017.The funding will be channelled to accelerate the growth of the two sectors through the department of energy, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Bereau of Reclamation as from the last quarter of 2016.
According to a local publication, the capital is expected to increase the country’s energy and water security as well as improve flood control projects.
Some of the projects the money will finance include a pilot programme to allow safe storage of nuclear waste at private facilities in western Texas.
The approval of the funds by the Senate marks the first time the House has approved a stand-alone bill to fund energy and water programmes since 2009.
Smart water funding
The news follows an announcement by the US city of Austin that it is seeking assistance for rollout of smart water projects.
The city said it applied for loans from the Texas Water Development Board to help its water division, Austin Water, upgrade its metering and wastewater systems.
The projects include plans to direct the US$80m loan towards the installation of smart water meters to allow accurate meter reads and billing, once the loan is approved.
The other US$87m loan will help fund the upgrade of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
According to a local publication, the city believes its water metering upgrade project will reduce its operational costs as it will also allow remote meter readings. [Global smart water metering market worth US$5.51bn by 2021].
The approval of the loan to deploy the smart water meters will result in Austin Water increasing its water rates by 1.7%/68 cents on consumers' monthly bills.
However, besides awaiting approval of the loan, the city said it still needs to analyse the results of smart water meters pilots carried out by other US cities inorder to have a guideline on how to deploy an AMI project before kickstart.
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