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Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 1162 would authorize the appropriation of $500 million for a competitive grant program to fund water recycling and reuse projects and would make the program permanent. The bill would require the authorized amount to be appropriated before the end of 2025, but otherwise does not specify the year in which any appropriation should be provided.

For this estimate, CBO has assumed that the Congress would provide $100 million a year from 2021 through 2025. On that basis, and using information from the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1162 would cost $445 million over the 2021-2025 period. The remaining funds would be spent within a few years after 2025. The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

Through 2019, the program had received appropriations totaling $50 million and most of those funds have been expended. Since 2016, about 50 projects have been identified by BOR, which administers the program, as eligible to compete for grants. If all of those projects were funded, the federal share of costs would total nearly $700 million. Under current law, BOR may accept proposals until the program expires in December 2021.