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Water Finance Resource Center

Water infrastructure is an extremely broad asset class ranging from drinking water to stormwater, as well as wastewater and sewage treatment. Financing water infrastructure is a major challenge for communities across the country, yet possible through innovative financing programs on the local, state and federal level.


The development finance toolbox provides dozens of financing tools and mechanisms that can be effective in financing all facets of water infrastructure. Financing tools for water infrastructure are available from the local, state and federal level. Primarily, three specific tools exist to support water infrastructure – bond financing, state revolving loan funds, and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), a federal credit subsidy program. These affordable programs provide for safe, clean drinking water and sustainable improvements to current, aging water infrastructure.


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-Understanding Water Finance

Want to learn more about any type of water infrastructure financing? This section contains resources on understanding the basics of water finance.

Water Infrastructure Financing: The WIFIA Program
The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program provides financial assistance for water infrastructure projects, including projects to build and upgrade wastewater and drinking water treatment systems. This Congressional Research Service publication provides an introduction to the WIFIA program.
Building Resiliency Through Green InfrastructureMembers only Login
Cities have recently integrated more green infrastructure strategies into their climate resiliency planning. Creating climate-resilient cities takes more than a series of infrastructure investments; more than sea walls and permeable pavement. It takes investment in people. Those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change are those without living wages or access to political power—very often communities of color.
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Fact SheetMembers only Login
This fact sheet, produced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, shares information on the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, a federal-state partnership that provides financial support to water systems and state drinking water programs.
Funding Land Conservation Projects with the CWSRFMembers only Login
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program is an affordable source of funding for a wide range of projects that address water quality, including land conservation and restoration projects. The conservation of natural lands reduces contamination at the source, protecting water quality and lessening the need for wastewater treatment through traditional methods.
Drinking Water Infrastructure: Who Pays and HowMembers only Login
This advocacy guide explores how governments have financed water infrastructure, risks associated with financing water infrastructure, issues with water conservation, water systems rate structuring and balancing conservation and affordability.

-Resources

View all Water Finance Resources

-Water and Sewer Bond Finance Resources

The World Bank - Green Bond Impact Report 2019Members only Login
The World Bank's 2019 Green Bond Impact Report shows investors how we are working with our member countries to support their climate finance efforts and deliver results, on a project-by-project basis.
Available CFA Resources - New York Regional Economic Development CouncilsMembers only Login
In 2011, Governor Cuomo created ten Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) and the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) to advance the administration’s efforts to improve New York’s business climate and expand economic growth. This 2019 document outlines information about each agency’s grant programs, including eligibility, scoring criteria, applicant requirements, and agency contact information.
Growing Green Bond Markets: The Development of Taxonomies to Identify Green Assets Members only Login
Green bond guidelines are being implemented across the globe to support issuers and investors in selecting and reporting on suitable projects. However, a gap of adoption of green definitions remains, suggesting the need to develop consistent approaches that can increase the capability of issuers and investors to identify eligible green and sustainable assets.
View More Water and Sewer Bond Resources

-Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Resources

Water Infrastructure Financing: The WIFIA Program
The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program provides financial assistance for water infrastructure projects, including projects to build and upgrade wastewater and drinking water treatment systems. This Congressional Research Service publication provides an introduction to the WIFIA program.
Miami WIFIA Project Fact SheetMembers only Login
Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department will construct fourteen new injection wells at three wastewater treatment plants. When the construction of this project and all necessary associated facilities are complete, Miami-Dade County will eliminate routine ocean discharges and be in compliance with the State of Florida’s Ocean Outfall Legislation Program.
View more WIFIA Resources

-State Revolving Fund Resources

California Rural Infrastructure Finance Guidebook
CALED knows from its work supporting economic development throughout California that infrastructure financing is a challenge for many rural communities. CALED collaborated with CDFA to develop this guidebook to meet the need for a resource to help build capacity in those areas, as well as move economic development projects forward.
NMEDD - Economic Development Innovation Task Force ReportMembers only Login
In 2019, the Governor signed House Memorial 16 directing the Economic Development Department (NMEDD) to bring together stakeholders and convene an Economic Development Innovation Task Force to spur collaboration and innovative discussions on methods to create new economic development concepts and ideas to enhance New Mexico's economy. This report is the result.
Moving America and the Environment Forward Framework
"Moving America and the Environment Forward" is a House Ways and Means Committee statement of principles on how the committee wants to approach an infrastructure bill. It includes $760 billion of proposals.
Available CFA Resources - New York Regional Economic Development CouncilsMembers only Login
In 2011, Governor Cuomo created ten Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) and the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) to advance the administration’s efforts to improve New York’s business climate and expand economic growth. This 2019 document outlines information about each agency’s grant programs, including eligibility, scoring criteria, applicant requirements, and agency contact information.
EPA Policy to Promote Market-Based Mechanisms for Improving Water QualityMembers only Login
The EPA will continue using regulatory tools, such as the Clean Water Act, for states, tribes, and stakeholders; however, the EPA believes that market-based programs, including water quality trading, as well as incentive-and community-based programs can be used more effectively than they have to date to achieve water quality improvements.
View more State Revolving Fund Resources

-Clean Water State Revolving Funds (CWSRF)

Innovative State-Led Efforts to Finance Agricultural ConservationMembers only Login
U.S. farmers are currently facing the most difficult agricultural economy since the 1980s. At the same time, many states are wrestling with the necessity of addressing environmental challenges. This report expounds upon the excellent work states are doing regarding conservation tax credits, cover crop incentives and environmental certifications to increase conservation across the landscape. The report also highlights how these programs work for agricultural producers and states.
MOU Between the US EPA and the DHS FEMA Pertaining to State Revolving Fund Programs Members only Login
Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency Regarding Coordination between EPA and FEMA Pertaining to State Revolving Fund Programs.
View more CWSRF Resources

-Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF)

Innovative State-Led Efforts to Finance Agricultural ConservationMembers only Login
U.S. farmers are currently facing the most difficult agricultural economy since the 1980s. At the same time, many states are wrestling with the necessity of addressing environmental challenges. This report expounds upon the excellent work states are doing regarding conservation tax credits, cover crop incentives and environmental certifications to increase conservation across the landscape. The report also highlights how these programs work for agricultural producers and states.
MOU Between the US EPA and the DHS FEMA Pertaining to State Revolving Fund Programs Members only Login
Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency Regarding Coordination between EPA and FEMA Pertaining to State Revolving Fund Programs.
View more DWSRF Resources

-Programs Map

Search the map below to find Water Finance program by state. This specialized search is part of CDFA's State Financing Program Directory, the only online resource cataloging the development finance programs offered by state governments. Click on a state to see a sample of programs available. Login with a CDFA Member account at the top of the page to view full results.

-Case Studies

California Rural Infrastructure Finance Guidebook
CALED knows from its work supporting economic development throughout California that infrastructure financing is a challenge for many rural communities. CALED collaborated with CDFA to develop this guidebook to meet the need for a resource to help build capacity in those areas, as well as move economic development projects forward.
USDA Report on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity 2019Members only Login
On April 25, 2017, the President of the United States established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity through Executive Order 13790. The purpose and function of the Task Force was to identify legislative, regulatory, and policy changes to promote agriculture, economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security, and quality of life in rural America.
Miami WIFIA Project Fact SheetMembers only Login
Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department will construct fourteen new injection wells at three wastewater treatment plants. When the construction of this project and all necessary associated facilities are complete, Miami-Dade County will eliminate routine ocean discharges and be in compliance with the State of Florida’s Ocean Outfall Legislation Program.
Building Resiliency Through Green InfrastructureMembers only Login
Cities have recently integrated more green infrastructure strategies into their climate resiliency planning. Creating climate-resilient cities takes more than a series of infrastructure investments; more than sea walls and permeable pavement. It takes investment in people. Those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change are those without living wages or access to political power—very often communities of color.
Idaho Infrastructure 2018 Report CardMembers only Login
This 2018 Report Card for Idaho’s Infrastructure, prepared by an experienced team of civil engineers and infrastructure professionals, shows that while some progress is evident, more should be done to make Idaho a stronger, safer, healthier, and more prosperous state. It was authored by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
View more Case Studies

-Headlines

-Publications

Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance
The Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance 2nd Edition is the only comprehensive resource dedicated to building and utilizing the development finance toolbox. The Practitioner's Guide provides the insight and practical information needed to critically understand how economic development is financed and the tools, strategies and techniques used to build strong communities. From bonds, tax increment finance and special districts to tax credits, seed & venture capital, revolving loan funds and much more, this Guide outlines the financing tools required for succeeding in today's competitive economic development climate.
Unlocking Capital: A Handbook for Becoming a High Performing Development Finance Agency
Unlocking Capital: A Handbook for Becoming a High Performing Development Finance Agency (Handbook) serves as a companion to the Practitioner’s Guide to help illuminate the structures of development finance agencies (DFAs), essential conduits to access development finance tools. The Handbook provides an overview of DFAs and their myriad roles in various development efforts. Included in this discussion is a comprehensive look at over a dozen high-performing DFAs throughout the country. The Handbook is designed to be a starting point for local leaders to engage in the creation or acceleration of a DFA to build and utilize the development finance toolbox.
View more Publications

-Training Courses

CDFA Virtual Summer School
August 3-13, 2020
Daily: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM Eastern
CDFA Virtual Summer School is a two-week-long series of courses presented by the CDFA Training Institute. These courses qualify for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Participants may register for up to four courses during CDFA Virtual Summer School. Complete three courses, and you will have fulfilled half of the requirements for the DFCP Program.
Register
View All Courses

-Upcoming Events

CDFA Virtual Summer School
August 3-13, 2020
Daily: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM Eastern
CDFA Virtual Summer School is a two-week-long series of courses presented by the CDFA Training Institute. These courses qualify for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Participants may register for up to four courses during CDFA Virtual Summer School. Complete three courses, and you will have fulfilled half of the requirements for the DFCP Program.
Register
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Bonds + Financing SustainabilityMembers only Login
Bonds are considered the bedrock tool for development finance because of their common use funding traditional projects however they also can be adaptable for new types of projects. In the current day and age sustainability has become a key focus in development finance and bonds have more frequently been used to finance this new wave of projects. During this installment of the BNY Mellon // CDFA Webcast Series Sharon Wojda from the City of Bend, Oregon, and Stephen Pearlman from Pearlman & Miranda, LLC., will look at outside the box ideas for issuing bonds to fund sustainable areas of finance including renewable energy, adaptive reuse for infrastructure and sustainable water solutions.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Opportunities and Advancements in Water FinanceMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, learn from expert speakers Jordan Dorfman from the EPA, Tyler Old from PFM, John DeLuca from CoBank, and Jong Sook Nee from McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC as they discuss developments in the water finance space and how different financing mechanisms like bonds, RLFs, P3s, and other tools are being used to address today’s water infrastructure projects.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Financing Water InfrastructureMembers only Login
During this CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast, hear from financing experts as they share capitalization options available for water infrastructure.
View more Webcasts

CDFA National Sponsors

  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Frost Brown Todd, LLC
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • MuniCap, Inc.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
Become a Sponsor