The funding will support $12bn in water infrastructure projects, creating more than 35,000 jobs
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a funding availability of $6bn under its Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program in the country.
The funding programme is aimed at speeding up investment in critical water infrastructure through flexible financing to support diverse projects across both large and small communities.
The funding will support $12bn in water infrastructure projects, creating more than 35,000 jobs and improving public health and environmental protection across the country.
It is the fourth round of WIFIA funding that will prioritise construction-ready projects across three areas including updating aging infrastructure, reducing exposure to lead and addressing emerging contaminants and water reuse and recycling.
The funding can be used for a wide range of products such as drinking water treatment and distribution projects; wastewater conveyance and treatment projects; enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities; desalination, aquifer recharge, alternative water supply, and water recycling projects and drought prevention, reduction, or mitigation projects.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said: “EPA’s WIFIA loan program has become one of the most effective tools used in President Trump’s efforts to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure, create jobs and safeguard public health and the environment.
“This new round of $6 billion in funding comes in time to help communities that are trying to recover from the health and financial stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and, for the first time, includes funding expressly available to states.”
The funding availability builds on the existing, active pipeline of WIFIA projects including 49 projects across 19 states and Washington DC.
EPA is providing up to $1bn in funding for state programmes for the first time
The agency is also providing funds under SWIFIA for the first time. The new programme, which is part of America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018, provides low interest loans to state water infrastructure programmes.
The funding programme will help finance needed for water infrastructure projects across local communities. Under the funding round, SWIFIA borrowers will receive up to $1bn.