About

Advocacy

Events

Membership

Sponsor

Education

Newsletters

Resources

Technical Assistance

×

Water Finance Resource Center

Read more about this Tool

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.


Want regular updates on water finance? Subscribe to CDFA's Energy & Water Finance Update newsletter.

Subscribe

-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.

Read more about Water Finance

Drinking Water Infrastructure: Who Pays and HowMembers only
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.
Addressing the Challenge of Aging Water Infrastructure Through Science and InnovationMembers only
The U.S. population is increasing and shifting geographically. Communities across the country are facing challenges in making costly upgrades and repairs to their aging water infrastructure, which includes drinking water and wastewater conveyance...
Water Infrastructure Financial LeadershipMembers only
The EPA has designed a document for decision makers to navigate the process of investing in water infrastructure. It will help identify what is needed for financial planning, how to fund and finance a project, and consider which strategic approaches...
Go Back to The Well: Water Infrastructure Opportunities
This report, produced by the National Resources Defense Council, discusses the power of State Revolving Funds (SRFs) and analyzes how increasing the capacity of SRFs could help to vastly improve water infrastructure throughout the country.
Financing Sustainable Water InfrastructureMembers only
New financing models and pricing flexibility, which are necessary to pay for new infrastructure and to support legacy systems, provide enormous opportunity for positive transformation necessary to keep pace with the rapid changes being experienced...

-Resources

View all Water Finance Resources

-Water and Sewer Bond Finance Resources

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.
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.
Growing the U.S. Green Bond MarketMembers only Login
The United States’ deteriorating infrastructure is woefully underprepared to address the challenge of adapting to climate change. The funding gap has presented an opportunity for global capital markets to create investment vehicles that provide long-term yield, while also helping communities mitigate or adapt to the effects of global warming. One such vehicle that has arisen in the past decade is the green bond: a traditional fixed income security with an additional layer of environmental sustainability.
Exempt Facility Bonds for Water and Wastewater InfrastructureMembers only Login
This 1-page issue brief from the Common Ground Alliance discusses how Exempt Facility Bonds can be used to finance water and wastewater infrastructure.
Finance Guide for Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge Design TeamsMembers only Login
The purpose of this guide, produced by NHA Advisors, is to assist design teams that are part of the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge (RbD) by providing a funding and financing reference guide for resilient infrastructure along the San Francisco Bay shoreline.
View More Water and Sewer Bond Resources

-Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Resources

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.
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.
Orange County Water District WIFIA LoanMembers only Login
A $135 million WIFIA loan will assist the Orange County Water District in expanding its existing 100 million gallons per day (MGD) Groundwater Replenishment System to produce an additional 30 MGD drought-proof drinking water supply for its service area. The project will replenish the Orange County Groundwater Basin and reduce the need for imported water.
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission WIFIA LoanMembers only Login
A $699 million WIFIA loan will assist SFPUC in replacing its existing, outdated solids treatment facilities with new biosolids digester facilities. The new facilities are designed to produce higher-quality Class A biosolids, capture and treat odors more effectively, and maximize biogas utilization and energy recovery.
View more WIFIA Resources

-State Revolving Fund Resources

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.
State Revolving Funds: Financing Drought Resilient Water Infrastructure Projects Members only Login
This report was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to highlight how 13 western states have used the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (“CWSRF”), Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (“DWSRF”), and other complementary state funds to address drought.
Funding Agricultural Best Management Practices with the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Members only Login
This report, produced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), discusses the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program and provides best practices for funding agriculture projects.
Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of AZ 2017 Annual ReportMembers only Login
The 2017 Annual Report for the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona
Financing Contaminated Property TransactionsMembers only Login
This presentation by Charlie Bartsch provides a detailed discussion of many EPA programs, including assessment grants, tax incentives, and revolving loan fund grants.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
20th Anniversary Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (DWSRF) Report Members only Login
The 2017 U.S. EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Annual Report contains recent highlights, future opportunities, infrastructure fund activity, set-asides activity, a 2017 financial statement, and success stories.
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

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.
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission WIFIA LoanMembers only Login
A $699 million WIFIA loan will assist SFPUC in replacing its existing, outdated solids treatment facilities with new biosolids digester facilities. The new facilities are designed to produce higher-quality Class A biosolids, capture and treat odors more effectively, and maximize biogas utilization and energy recovery.
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

The  Into Energy & Water Finance Course explores the wide range of tools available for financing energy & water projects, including bonds, tax credits, revolving loan funds, grant programs, and more. This course will cover how new energy production/generation, energy efficiency, retrofitting and support programs are used throughout the country to encourage investment in large and small projects alike.

View all Training Courses

-Upcoming Events

Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance WebCourse
The Fundamentals WebCourse is the foundation for all of CDFA’s educational offerings. This course helps attendees understand the variety of development finance tools available, from bonds, tax credits and TIF, to federal financing programs, RLFs, and access to capital lending resources.
CDFA Federal Policy Conference
The federal government plays a critical role in driving private and public investment in innovation, job creation, infrastructure, and community development. With the 2020 presidential election quickly approaching, development finance will be a key policy issue across the nation. The 116th Congress will also play a major role in shaping our country’s economic development policy going forward. It's up to the development finance community to focus the national discussion on smart federal policy, and CDFA is the voice of the economic development finance community on Capitol Hill. For these reasons, CDFA will host its CDFA Federal Policy Conference on April 14-15 in Washington DC.
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

  • Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority
  • 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
  • Petros PACE Finance
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Wilmington Trust
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
Become a Sponsor