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Posted on: November 2, 2018

Water Infrastructure Funding Bills Enacted

On October 23, President Donald Trump signed the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. This initiative was approved by Congress earlier last month. The new statute reauthorizes the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) at $50 million and removes it from pilot program status. It also reauthorizes the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) for the first time since 2003, providing $1.95 billion by the third year of the three-year authorization. Both programs assist local governments in financing water projects, and both can be used in conjunction with one another, and with municipal bond financing.

WIFIA provides low-cost loans and loan guarantees to eligible borrowers for water and wastewater projects; it was designed to work in conjunction with municipal bonds and other funding sources and can provide up to 45% of funding for a project.

The new DWSRF authorization provides $4.4 billion over three years. It also provides for federal investment in, and natural disaster protection of, coastal and waterway infrastructure.

The revolving loan funds or SRFs in all 50 states and Puerto Rico operate as infrastructure banks. They provide low-interest loans for drinking water infrastructure projects. As money is paid back into a state’s revolving loan fund, the state makes new loans for other projects. States are authorized to utilize funds not only to provide loans, but also to guarantee local debt, purchase municipal bond insurance, and refinance projects.

At the bill signing ceremony, the President noted: “As a candidate, I called for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure…Today, we’re taking another major step toward that goal. Very important.”

Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njslom.org, 609-695-3481, x121.


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