America’s water infrastructure is on the decline, with many failing systems and implementations.
While the simple fix is to repair, improve, or replace the infrastructure already in place, the necessary funding is typically unavailable for many municipalities.
For instance, the drinking water utilities will need to invest $334.8 billion over the next two decades to address their crumbling infrastructure needs, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA.
Such monetary restrictions make it nearly impossible for any improvements to be made across the country.
However, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 (WIFIA) created the WIFIA program which administers loans for eligible infrastructure projects.
The federal credit program gives loan opportunities for varying parties to address their infrastructure needs. Eligible borrowers for the program are:
- Municipal, state, and federal bodies of government
- Joint ventures and partnerships
- Trusts and corporations
Funding from WIFIA in 2018 could ultimately begin to change the infrastructure of the United States for the better, with an allocation of funds twice the amount as last year’s.
On March 23, 2018, the president signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. According to the EPA website, this newly imposed budget authority which granted the WIFIA $55 million could “provide approximately $5.5 billion in credit assistance and may finance approximately $11 billion in water infrastructure investment.”
Borrowers can benefit in many ways from the program, including:
- A single fixed interest rate throughout the life of the loan
- An interest rate equal to the U.S. rate of a similar maturity, which often results in a lower rate
- Able to defer payment
- Long period of repayment available
- WIFIA loans can be combined with other sources of funding
This year’s round of funding is open to interest letters from eligible borrowers until July 6, 2018, at noon, EDT. However, there are two priorities for selection:
- Aim to provide clean and safe drinking water and reduce the exposure of lead in the country’s drinking water systems
- Replace, restore, and renovate any aging infrastructure or water transportation systems
Projects can include infrastructure for dams, watershed management, flood control systems, and even sustainable programs. Many government entities will look to hire a civil engineering company to begin the structural design of many implementations and repairs.
Even though the nation has a long way to go before the deteriorating systems are no longer a concern, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt states that the WIFIA program “…will spark new investments to repair our nation’s crumbling water infrastructure.”
To consult with a civil engineer about your proposed infrastructure project(s), contact the ACI Corporation today.