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Water Finance Resource Center

Financing water infrastructure is a major challenge and opportunity for communities throughout the country. However, water infrastructure is an extremely broad asset class ranging from drinking and storm water issues to waste water and sewage processing improvements. The development finance toolbox, none the less, provides dozens of financing tools and mechanisms that can be effective in financing this infrastructure. Primarily, three specific tools exist to support water infrastructure – bonds, state revolving loan funds and the new federal credit subsidy program called WIFIA.

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+Understanding Water Finance

Water finance is important to communities across the nation. CDFA has collected many resources to help you understand this important tool.

Federal Financing Solutions for Water Financing
Terry Louwagie from the U.S. Department of Agriculture presents on USDA programs used for water infrastructure development.
Water Finance - Bonds: Feasibility, Structuring and Sale
Dave MacGillivray from Springsted Incorporated presents on water finance bonds.
WIFIA Program: Federal Water Financing Solutions
Kevin McDonald from the U.S. EPA presents on the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program.
Public Private Partnerships to Support Water Infrastructure
Jong Sook Nee from McManimon, Scotland & Baumann and Stephen Auton-Smith from Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors present on public-private partnerships and financing water infrastructure.
PACE Financing
Julie Padilla from Renovate America presents on PACE Financing.
View More Resources

+Water and Sewer Bond Finance Resources

Bonds are used everyday to finance sewer and water infrastructure. CDFA has collected several resources on this important application of bond finance.

Water Finance - Bonds: Feasibility, Structuring and Sale
Dave MacGillivray from Springsted Incorporated presents on water finance bonds.
Financing Water and Wastewater Projects with Tax-Exempt Bonds
This guidebook, published by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, provides an overview of issues relating to the financing of water and wastewater projects in general and financing with tax-exempt bonds in particular.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Opportunities and Advancements in Water Finance
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.
Top 40 Significant Transportation and Water Infrastructure Projects
To highlight the benefits of infrastructure investment and its potential impact on the economy, Treasury, on behalf of the Build America Investment Initiative, commissioned a study identifying 40 proposed transportation and water infrastructure projects across the United States of major economic significance.
Green Bonds for Cities: A Strategic Guide for City-level Policymakers in Developing Countries
This report by the Climate Policy Initiative offers a strategic guide for cities in developing countries to access green bond market flows, a potential source of finance for cities in developing countries looking to secure investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure to meet the water, energy, housing and transportation needs of their expanding urban populations.
View More Water and Sewer Bond Resources

+State Revolving Fund Resources

State Revolving Fund's provide low-interest loans for investments in water and sanitation. View CDFA's many resources on this program to learn more.

Using State Revolving Funds to Build Climate-Resilient Communities
This report from the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) examines State Revolving Funds and their impact on creating climate-resilient communities. The report encourages the development of State Revolving Fund (SRF) policies that incorporate water efficiency, green infrastructure, and flood risk reduction and recommends several approaches to implement projects funded by SRFs.
Illinois Clean Water Initiative 2014
Elmo Dowd, Assistant Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, presents highlights of the Governor's Clean Water Initiative, a $1B low-interest loan fund for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects.
State of Mississippi - Drinking Water Systems Improvements Revolving Loan Fund
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) assists public water systems to finance the costs of infrastructure needed to achieve or maintain compliance with state requirements and to protect public health objectives. The DWSRF program will help ensure that the nation's drinking water supplies remain safe and affordable, that drinking water systems that receive funding will be properly operated and maintained, and that permanent institutions will exist in each state to provide financial support for drinking water needs for many years to come.
Illinois Clean Water Initiative 2013
The Clean Water Initiative makes $1B available through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s (IEPA) State Revolving Fund, in low cost loans to local governments for waste water and drinking water capital projects. In partnership with IFA, this program helps communities comply with U.S.EPA guidelines and standards, address critical infrastructure needs and stimulate local economic development across Illinois.
Texas Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund, authorized by the Clean Water Act, provides low-interest financial assistance for planning, design, and construction of wastewater infrastructure. Eligible applicants for the CWSRF include cities, counties, districts, river authorities, other public bodies, and private entities proposing nonpoint source or estuary management projects.
View More State Revolving Fund Resources

+Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA)

WIFIA is a federal credit program administered by the EPA for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects. CDFA has collected several resources on the important federal program.

WIFIA Letter of Interest Submission and Project Selection
Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Letter of Interest Submission and Project Selection - Learn about the process for prospective borrowers to submit a WIFIA letter of interest and for EPA to evaluate them.
The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program
In recent years, policymakers have considered several legislative options to help finance water infrastructure projects, including projects to build and upgrade wastewater and drinking water treatment systems. This report examines one particular option, a “Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act” (WIFIA) program, which Congress included in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014.
WIFIA and the US Water Infrastructure Gap
The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, “WIFIA,” is a funding mechanism that was enacted to address the US water infrastructure gap. WIFIA aims to encourage private investment in public water infrastructure projects, and the EPA announced it had received 43 letters of interest in its first round of solicitations. In this episode of Chadbourne Currents pocast, Chadbourne associate Chadron Edwards speak with Jake Falk, Counsel in their Washington, DC office, to discuss the WIFIA program.
WIFIA Project Approval and Closing
Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Project Approval and Closing - Learn about application submission and evaluation, term sheet development, and closing.
WIFIA Project Selection
Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Project Selection - Learn about the application and selection process, including the letter of interest components, selection criteria and their weights, and preliminary creditworthiness and engineering assessments.
View More WIFIA Resources

+Drinking Water Finance Resources

Clean drinking water is essential to a healthy community. These resources provide several examples on how these systems can be financed.

Conditions Are Ripe for More PPPs in for Water Infrastructure
The American Water Works Association estimates the amount needed for investments in US drinking water infrastructure is about $1 trillion.1 The PPP procurement model is being considered for several projects in development but only a few water and wastewater PPP projects have reached financial close in recent years.
Strengthening Ohio's Water Infrastructure: Financing and Policy
This report is written by the Greater Ohio Policy Center in fulfillment of a grant from the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) to the Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) to examine new and innovative financing techniques for water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure in the state of Ohio.
Top 40 Significant Transportation and Water Infrastructure Projects
To highlight the benefits of infrastructure investment and its potential impact on the economy, Treasury, on behalf of the Build America Investment Initiative, commissioned a study identifying 40 proposed transportation and water infrastructure projects across the United States of major economic significance.
Addressing the Challenge of Aging Water Infrastructure Through Science and Innovation
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 systems and related treatment facilities. This requires investment for new infrastructure in growth areas and also strands existing infrastructure in areas of decreasing population. Despite this need, investment in research and development has declined and current practices and techniques may not be sufficient to address emerging issues and potentially stronger regulatory requirements. EPA has issued its Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy as part of its efforts to promote sustainable infrastructure within the water sector. Making water infrastructure last longer, while increasing its cost-effectiveness and sustainability, is essential to protecting human health and the environment, and maintaining safe drinking water and clean water bodies. This new policy is part of EPA's priority to protect America's waters.
Financing Resilient Infrastructure
The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Office of Economic Resilience released this fact sheet on financing high-performance infrastructure, which are designed to help stretch public funding further. They are also useful for communities that want to incorporate resilience and social co-benefits into their infrastructure design and delivery.
View More Drinking Water Resources

+Sewage & Waste Finance Resources

Proper sanitation and capacity are essential to good sewer systems. These resources provide several different ways of financing sewer & waste systems to ensure that these standards are upheld.

Conditions Are Ripe for More PPPs in for Water Infrastructure
The American Water Works Association estimates the amount needed for investments in US drinking water infrastructure is about $1 trillion.1 The PPP procurement model is being considered for several projects in development but only a few water and wastewater PPP projects have reached financial close in recent years.
Strengthening Ohio's Water Infrastructure: Financing and Policy
This report is written by the Greater Ohio Policy Center in fulfillment of a grant from the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) to the Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) to examine new and innovative financing techniques for water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure in the state of Ohio.
Financing Resilient Infrastructure
The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Office of Economic Resilience released this fact sheet on financing high-performance infrastructure, which are designed to help stretch public funding further. They are also useful for communities that want to incorporate resilience and social co-benefits into their infrastructure design and delivery.
Financing Solutions for Sustainable Rural Infrastructure
Hunter Hook, Vice President at CoBank presents on an overview of CoBank's services, rural water and community facility project types, water/wastewater challenges and solutions, and communities facility challenges and solutions.
WIFA - Financing Tools for Water Infrastructure
Susan Craig, Communication Director of the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (WIFA), explains WIFA's work in small and rural towns. She explains several financing tools available for water infrastructure including low interest loans, planning and design technical assistance, and incentives.
View More Sewage & Waste Resources

+Stormwater Finance

Having proper stormwater infrastructure allows cities to quickly remove water from their streets and roadways thus increasing the overall effeciency of the city. These systems are essential and there are many ways to finance them.

Strengthening Ohio's Water Infrastructure: Financing and Policy
This report is written by the Greater Ohio Policy Center in fulfillment of a grant from the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) to the Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) to examine new and innovative financing techniques for water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure in the state of Ohio.
Green Bonds for Cities: A Strategic Guide for City-level Policymakers in Developing Countries
This report by the Climate Policy Initiative offers a strategic guide for cities in developing countries to access green bond market flows, a potential source of finance for cities in developing countries looking to secure investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure to meet the water, energy, housing and transportation needs of their expanding urban populations.
Getting to Green: Paying for Green Infrastructure
Green Infrastructure practices typically involve compact design to retain or manage stormwater from individual or neighborhood group parcels. The information presented in this report is targeted at people making decisions about how to finance those projects.
Financing Sustainable Water Infrastructure
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 by counties, municipalities and investor owned utilities.
Economics and LID Practices
Low Impact Development (LID) represents one of the most progressive trends in the area of stormwater management and water quality. This approach involves utilizing strategies to control precipitation as close to its source as possible in order to reduce runoff volumes, promote infiltration, and protect water quality. While better known for its capacity to reduce pollution and manage stormwater more sustainably, LID designs are also economically beneficial and more cost-effective as compared to conventional stormwater controls.
View More Stormwater Resources

+Case Studies

Water finance is important to communities across the country. CDFA has collected several case study examples.

Measuring the Impact of Water Quality Initiatives
The primary finding of this study is that the Fund for Lake Michigan has had a very positive, demonstrable economic impact in the southeastern region of Wisconsin. Data suggests that, if funded in the same manner, the Fund should continue to have a similar level of economic impact for the foreseeable future.
Financing Water Infrastructure in Illinois
Jim Snyder (Ice Miller LLP), Bob Schillerstrom (Ice Miller LLP), Jim Keene (Keene and Associates, Ltd), and Aaron Fundich (Robinson Engineering, Ltd) explore water infrastructure projects that could be transformational for Illinois and various financing mechanisms that can be used to support these deals.
Illinois Clean Water Initiative 2014
Elmo Dowd, Assistant Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, presents highlights of the Governor's Clean Water Initiative, a $1B low-interest loan fund for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects.
USDA Water & Environmental Program - 2012 Annual Activity Report
This annual activity report from USDA Rural Development highlights the impacts and activity of the Water and Environmental Programs during fiscal year 2012.
GreenFinanceSF-Commercial: Program Overview
GreenFinanceSF-Commercial is a Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE program, which allows commercial property owners to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements by applying a lien to the property. This overview provides the basics of eligibility and preparing an application.
View More Case Studies

+Webcasts

CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Opportunities and Advancements in Water Finance
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 Infrastructure
During this CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast, hear from financing experts as they share capitalization options available for water infrastructure.
View More Webcasts

+Headlines


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