WASHINGTON – In a statement today to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Water
and Wildlife, three of the nation’s leading water organizations advocated for
the enactment of a Water Infrastructure and Innovations Act (WIFIA) to reduce
the costs of critical water infrastructure projects.
statement, the American Water Works Assocation (AWWA), the Association of
Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF)
also urged the continuing and strong federal support of existing State
Revolving Fund (SRF) programs, which provide low-interest loans for water
projects and would be supported in part by the proposed WIFIA program.
the cost of borrowing for water and wastewater infrastructure is an important
way to leverage local funding and help America rebuild and rehabilitate our
aging water infrastructure,” the statement said.
organizations stressed that Americans are best served by water systems that are
self-sustaining through rates and other local charges. By providing
low-interest loans to water utilities, however, WIFIA would lower the cost of capital
for communities while having no or little effect on the federal budget deficit.
WIFIA would access funds from the U.S. Treasury at near-Treasury rates, and
those funds would be repaid to the WIFIA with interest. WIFIA is to be modeled
after the successful Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovations Act,
commonly known as TIFIA.
The need for
increased investment in aging water and wastewater infrastructure is well
documented. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent Drinking Water
and Clean Water Needs Surveys concluded that water and wastewater systems face
more than $600 billion in infrastructure improvement costs through 2028 to
simply maintain current levels of service.
can be proud of the progress we have made in protecting public health and the
environment thorugh past investment in water infrastructure, but we risk a
reversal of that progress unless significant new investments are made in our
aging water and wastewater systems,” the statement said.
complete statement at: