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WIFIA Bill Aims to Make Water Infrastructure More Affordable

AWWAThe American Water Works Assoication (AWWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) are pushing for the creation of a federal Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority (WIFIA). In mid-November, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on a draft of the Water Resources Development Act, which included WIFIA. Experts say details of both pieces of legislation are likely to undergo adjustments.

WEFAWWA, WEF, and AMWA say WIFIA would lower the cost of infrastructure investment and increase the availability of lower cost capital. WIFIA would dramatically reduce the cost of large water infrastructure projects of national and/or regional significance by providing low-interest federal loans; while also providing improved financial assistance to small and medium size communities through continued support, reform, and capitalization of existing State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. AMWA

AWWA recently sent out a Legislative Alert to Water Utility Managers that promised staff and volunteers from all three organizations will continue to meet with Congressional staff to address changes that they would like to see in the legislation. “The introduction of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act marks an important step forward in confronting America’s urgent water infrastructure challenge,” said AWWA Executive Director David LaFrance. “WIFIA would provide communities across the U.S. with access to low-cost capital to address their most significant water infrastructure needs, without adding to the long-term federal deficit. It would fill a significant gap between what current water infrastructure tools can do and what needs to be done.”

AWWA has additional information about the nation's water infrastructure needs and WIFIA on its website, awwa.org.




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