SAN FRANCISCO– Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $92 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Santa Clara Valley Water District in California. EPA’s loan will support planning and design work to increase long-term water storage capacity and strengthen drought resilience in the Santa Clara Valley. Earlier this year, EPA announced $115 million in WIFIA financing to the District to bolster water infrastructure resiliency, including preparing for a seismic retrofit of Anderson Dam.
Since its creation, EPA’s WIFIA program has announced $19 billion in financing to support more than 110 projects that are strengthening drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure while creating over 135,000 jobs.
“Climate stress is often experienced as water stress—especially in drought prone regions of the country. EPA is committed to helping the Santa Clara Valley Water District and communities across the country design and build climate-resilient water infrastructure,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “Through WIFIA and with $50 billion for water infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is investing in communities across the nation to meet their unique needs while advancing President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda.”
The WIFIA program offers planning and design loans to provide low-cost financing to support project development activities so that borrowers can identify preferred options for complicated water infrastructure projects. By financing their planning activities with a WIFIA loan, Santa Clara Valley Water District will save approximately $40 million and create approximately 600 jobs.
“We are incredibly grateful to receive another loan from the WIFIA program,” said Valley Water Board Chair John L. Varela. “These loans reflect the commitment from federal lawmakers to invest in our nation’s water infrastructure and allow Valley Water to finance major projects in a cost-efficient manner.”
The Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Planning and Design Project will assess options to address long-term water storage capacity concerns for customers. The district will utilize WIFIA financing to conduct planning, design, and environmental analyses. The District will also complete soil and geological analyses needed as part of their comprehensive planning and design process. Through this WIFIA financing, the District will evaluate alternatives and complete the planning and design for the complex Pacheco Reservoir Expansion project.
Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan program administered by EPA. The WIFIA program’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs.
EPA recently made the 7th round of WIFIA financing available and is currently accepting letters of interest for WIFIA and SWIFIA loans. $6.5 billion is available through WIFIA, and $1 billion is available through SWIFIA, which is a loan program exclusively for State infrastructure financing authority borrowers. EPA is currently accepting letters of interest for WIFIA and SWIFIA loans. Learn more about submitting a letter of interest for a WIFIA loan.
In addition to WIFIA loans, there are many federal funding resources available for communities and utilities to improve vital water and wastewater resources. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a historic $50 billion investment in upgrading critical water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure.