Innovative Financing for Drinking Water Upgrades

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Cities looking for new sources of revenue to assist with major drinking water upgrades are encouraged about a new federal program that just starting accepting applications for nearly $20 billion available as loan guarantees. In 2014, Congress authorized the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). In 2016, Congress appropriated $17 million in funds for the program. It is estimated that using WIFIA’s full financial leveraging ability that a single dollar injected into the program can create $50 dollars for project lending. Under current appropriations, EPA estimates that current budget authority may provide more than $1 billion in credit assistance and may finance over $2 billion in water infrastructure investment, totaling up to $20 billion in new funding.

 

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