About the Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center
The Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center identifies financing approaches to help communities make better informed decisions for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure that are consistent with local needs.
Leader in financial expertise that provides guidance on financing the planning, design, and construction of sustainable and resilient water sector infrastructure.
- Effective use of federal funding programs
- Leading edge financing solutions
- Innovative procurement and partnership strategies
- Collaborative financial guidance and technical assistance efforts
- Data and learning clearinghouses that support effective decision-making
- EPA Launches Finance Center to Improve Community Water Infrastructure and Resiliency (January 16, 2015)
The Environmental Financial Advisory Board plays an important role as an advisor to the center on accomplishing its mission.
The Center provides objective financial advice to help communities make informed decisions on financing drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure projects. The Center does not fund water infrastructure projects.
Current activities include:
- Regional Finance Forums
These forums bring together communities with water infrastructure financing needs in an interactive peer-to-peer networking format. Attendees hear how local utilities have financed resilient water infrastructure projects and have the opportunity to meet key regional funding and technical assistance contacts.
- WaterCARE Program
The Community Assistance for Resiliency and Excellence (WaterCARE) program supports communities in developing resilient and sustainable finance planning strategies for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure to meet long-term local needs. Project successes will be shared to support decision making for other communities that have similar water infrastructure financing needs.
- Affordability Programs
The Center is exploring how household affordability considerations are addressed for specific segments of service areas that have difficulty paying water and sewer bills. The Center is developing a compendium on rate assistance and household affordability program best practices.
- Innovative State Revolving Fund Financing
The Center is launching a State Revolving Fund (SRF) Peer-to-Peer Learning Program with the Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities (CIFA) and engaging in other SRF outreach on state-of-the-art practices.
The Center is initiating a Water Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership and Public-Public Partnership Study and Local Government Training with the University of North Carolina Environmental Finance Center and West Coast Exchange. The Center is working with its partners to promote new tools such as EPA Region 3’s "Community-Based Public-Private Partnerships Guide for Local Governments" to explore alternative market-based tools for integrated green stormwater infrastructure.
- Stormwater Financing Clearinghouse
The Center is focusing on stormwater financing by developing a clearinghouse of information to support communities to develop dedicated sources of revenue for stormwater programs.
Communities across the country face the challenge of aging and inadequate water infrastructure. Most of our underground water infrastructure was built 50 or more years ago, in the post-World War II era. In some older urban areas, many water mains are a century old. The implications of deteriorating infrastructure can be felt nationwide.
The report Addressing the Challenge through Science and Innovation (PDF) (6 pp, 1.3 MB, About PDF) shows:
- There are approximately 240,000 water main breaks per year in the U.S.
- Approximately $2.6 billion is lost as water mains leak trillions of gallons of treated drinking water.
- Billions of gallons of raw sewage are discharged into local surface waters from aging wastewater conveyance systems every year.
According to EPA's estimate of drinking water and wastewater needs:
- Over $600 billion is needed for water infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years.
These challenges impact drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure that sustain local economies. The emerging challenges of stronger and more frequent storms, droughts, and floods heighten the urgency to reinvest in water sector infrastructure.
Investments in water infrastructure have immense returns for communities. Clean, reliable water and wastewater services bring public health and environmental benefits. Safe and clean water:
- Fuels the economy.
- Creates jobs.
- Protects public health.
- Increases quality of life.