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President Biden signed a provision into law this week that would seek to find an alternative source of drinking water for District of Columbia residents, who rely solely on the Potomac River.

Democratic Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District, made the push to combat issues with the Potomac River if drinking water becomes unavailable through man-made or natural causes, including climate change.

“I am pleased the president signed into law my three provisions in WRDA that address issues D.C. has long confronted,” Ms. Norton said. “These provisions will serve to protect the drinking water and other infrastructure of the nation’s capital from serious vulnerabilities and will benefit D.C. residents for years to come.”

Three provisions were included in the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, which included efforts to authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct studies on a secondary drinking water source and additional drinking water storage capabilities for the District.

The Potomac River currently serves as the sole drinking water source for the District, Arlington County and Falls Church, Virginia outside of Washington.

The Washington Aqueduct, which produces drinking water from the Potomac, also only includes one day’s worth of backup water supply.

Other cities, like New York and Los Angeles, typically have a secondary drinking water source and some are planning for a third.

Local water officials in Washington have been exploring Rockville’s Travilah Quarry for additional water storage, according to WTOP.

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