Leading Edge Financing for Water Infrastructure
The Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center encourages state-of-the-art financing to increase investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
- State Revolving Fund (SRF) Management
- Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA)
- Public and Private Partnerships
State Revolving Fund (SRF) Management
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs are the nation's largest water quality financing source, providing:
- $133 billion in low-cost financial assistance to local governments and other qualified entities over the last 25 years.
- Funding for construction and repair of facilities critical to the nation’s clean water and safe drinking water goals.
The nation faces large and growing water and wastewater infrastructure needs. There are several ways that SRF dollars can help meet the demand including expanded project eligibilities, use of guarantees, and leveraging.
SRF Project Eligibilities
- View a list of CWSRF eligibilities.
- View a list of DWSRF eligibilities and memorandum on using DWSRF funds for water efficiency measures.
Using Guarantees in SRF Programs
SRF administrators can use the guarantee authority to expand funding capacity without reducing current levels of lending activity. In 2014, the U.S. EPA's Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB) released a report that suggested an untapped guarantee capacity totaling billions, Utilizing SRF Funding For Green Infrastructure Projects.
- View a description of CWSRF program guarantees.
- View a description of DWSRF program guarantees.
An example of how a guarantee was used in the CWSRF program:
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) sold $24.3 million in revenue bonds to finance loans for energy efficiency improvements as part of its Green Jobs-Green New York Program.
- These bonds were rated triple-A due to a guarantee from the New York State Environment Facilities Corporation (NYEFC).
- NYSERDA uses the bond proceeds to finance consumer loans that will be used for the installation of residential energy efficiency improvements and Energy Star compliant products.
- New York is the first state to use the SRF to support initiatives that address atmospheric depositions that impact public health and pollute critically important water bodies.
Leveraging within the SRF Program
State SRF programs can increase funds through different types of leveraging such as:
- Using fund assets as collateral to issue tax-exempt revenue bonds;
- Using funds from one SRF program to secure the other SRF program against default through cross-collateralization;
- Using funds from one SRF program to help cure a default in the other SRF program through a short-term cross-investment; and
- Increasing disbursements to incrementally fund multiple projects within a capital improvement plan.
Learn more about the different types of CWSRF assistance and DWSRF assistance.
Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA)
The WIFIA program accelerates investment in our nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects. WIFIA works separately from, but in coordination with, the State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs to provide subsidized financing for large dollar-value projects.
- Local, state, tribal, and federal government entities
- Partnerships and joint ventures
- Corporations and trusts
- Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs
Learn more about eligible projects.
Public and Private Partnerships
The Water Finance Center provides information to communities interested in establishing public and private partnerships for innovative financing.
Public-Private Partnerships, Public-Public Partnerships, and Performance Based Infrastructure project delivery models (“P3”, “PPP” or “PBI” -- together “Alternative Project Delivery Models”) are an alternative delivery method for building out needed water infrastructure. Projects utilizing P3s span the water sector in size, location, and financial profile. A number of P3s have been implemented nationally and many have closed internationally.
Types of Partnerships
A public-public partnership is a collaboration between two public utilities to improve the quality and efficiency of water or wastewater services.
Public-private partnerships provide communities with a long-term contractual agreement between a public and private entity to provide a number of different delivery models based on desired community outcomes such as faster project completion, lower project cost, utilizing private sector capital, and various risk mitigations. All of these models take into account the full life-cycle of water infrastructure assets and enable project sponsors to plan accordingly.
Technical Assistance for Water P3s
The Water Finance Center performs research on P3s, establishes best practices in the sector, and provides technical assistance to utilities and other project sponsors.
- Public education of previous transactions
- Decision-maker training and education
- Technical assistance for utilities and other project sponsors
- Options within alternative analyses
- Develop and provide outreach on market innovations and delivery models
- Peer-to-peer engagements
- Interagency partnerships
Public and Private Partnership Resources
Alternative Water Project Delivery Models
- UNC EFC Alternative Water Project Delivery Models Report Exit
The Water Finance Center collaborated with the University of North Carolina (UNC) Environmental Finance Center (EFC) to develop a Public-Private and Public-Public Partnerships (“P3s”) report. The UNC report provides an in-depth examination of nine projects where communities used P3s in the water sector.
- Perspective: “The Financial Impact of Alternative Water Project Delivery Models” in the Water Sector
The Water Finance Center developed a companion perspective document to broaden understanding of this alternative procurement method.
Pay for Success
- DC Water’s Environmental Impact Bond: A First of its Kind
The Water Finance Center developed an in-depth technical report of the first Environmental Impact Bond (EIB). This new “Pay for Success” financing structure was developed by DC Water to privately fund the construction of green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff as part of DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project.
Community Based Public Private Partnerships
- Community Based Public-Private Partnerships and Alternative Market-Based Tools for Integrated Green Stormwater Infrastructure: A Guide for Local Governments
EPA Region 3 and its partners developed this guide to identify tools to help Mid-Atlantic communities address water quality challenges through faster, cheaper, and greener methods.
Water System Partnerships
- Water Systems Partnerships
This web page provides additional resources on forming partnerships between utilities.