WIFIA

The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act was signed into law as part of the Water Resources and Reform Development Act. Designed after the popular Transportation Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act (TIFIA), WIFIA will provide low-interest loans for water infrastructure projects. The program is aimed at larger projects that cost at least $20 million. A variety of different projects are eligible to receive loans, including construction of water treatment and waste-water reuse and control infrastructure. 


Public Private Partnerships

Public-Private Partnerships for water infrastructure projects are becoming the most cost-effective and efficient way to rebuild our nation's water and wastewater infrastructure. Through the use of bonds, municipalities partner with private companies to build and/or operate public works infrastructure. These partnerships increase efficiency, save money, and displace most of the risk associated with projects on private corporations.  

Rural Utility Service Fund for Water

The Rural Utility Service is a program within the U.S. Department of Agricultrue responsible for providing financing for public utilities including water infrastructure to rural areas. The Water and Environmental Programs (WEP) which is run by the rural utility service is responsible for providing loans, grants, and guarantees for drinking water and waste-water infrastructure projects to private companies in towns of 10,000 or less. 

State Revolving Fund Appropriations

State Revolving Funds (SRFs) are federally appropriated dollars disbursed by the EPA to states based on population to provide low-interest loans for investments in water and waste-water infrastructure. Divided into two accounts, Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), SRFs are a primary vehicle for water and waste-water infrastructure financing in America. Unfortunately, SRFs are not funded to their authorization capacity and have seen substantial cuts in recent Congressional Appropriations. The Clean Water Council is working to increase both authorization levels and appropriations for SRFs. 

The Partnership to Build America Act

Introduced in May 2013 by Rep. John Delaney (MD-6), The Partnership to Build America Act would create the American Infrastructure Fund (AIF), which would provide $750 million in loan guarantees to states and local governments for qualified infrastructure projects. The AIF would be funded by U.S. corporations who will be allowed to repatriate foreign earnings in exchanges for purchasing AIF bonds. 

What we've been working on.

Water Resources Reform and Development Act

The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, is the authorizing legislation for the Army Corps. of Engineers to undertake water resources projects including flood control, navigation, ecosystem restoration, water supply and emergency management projects. Intended to be reauthorized every two years, WRRDA was last authorized in 2007. 
This legislation was signed into law in June 2014. You can read a summary of the legislation here. 

Private Activity Bonds

Private Activity Bonds are a financing mechanism utilized by communities and municipalities to finance the building of all sorts of public facilities, from schools to bridges, airports to waste management facilities. The Internal Revenue Service allows states to utilize PABs for projects, but caps the total dollars the state is permitted to bond based on population. The more politically advantageous projects, like police stations and roads, receive the lion's share of PABs, whereas water and wastewater systems receive less than three-percent of PAB dollars. 

To reverse the under-utilization of PABs for water and wastewater projects, the Clean Water Council has supported proposals to remove the IRS volume cap for water and wastewater projects. This will allow states and municipalities to finance water and wastewater projects through PAB without counting the projects' cost against the IRS cap. Airports and solid waste facilities are already exempt from the PAB volume cap, and their infrastructure has improved as a result. PABs provide a low-cost, low-risk financing option for states and communities. 


Water Protection and Reinvestment

Trust Fund Act of 2013

The Water Protection and Reinvestment Trust Fund Act of 2013, introduced in November 2013 by Representative Earl Blumenauer, would create a trust fund for states seeking to invest in repair and replacement of wastewater treatment facilities. Funds in the trust would accumulate by participating companies’ contributions of $0.03 for each product unit on which they elect to place a small label indicating their commitment to protecting America’s clean water. Most of the trust funds would then be distributed as grants and loans through the State Revolving Loan Fund.