Water Infrastructure Investment & Financing

Though often overlooked, maintaining first-rate water infrastructure must be a national priority. Clean, consistent, and safe water service is essential to both protecting public health and ensuring economic growth.

While AMWA member utilities deliver high-quality water from coast-to-coast, the nation as a whole faces significant long-term water infrastructure investment needs that cannot be ignored. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the nation’s drinking water infrastructure requires roughly $384.2 billion worth of repairs and upgrades over the next two decades just to maintain current levels of service, and other studies have placed this price tag significantly higher. Fortunately, these investments will deliver a great return: the U.S. Conference of Mayors estimates that 8.7 construction jobs are created for every $1 million invested in water infrastructure investment.

AMWA supports the following steps to rebuild and maintain our water infrastructure:

  • Strongly support the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), a state-based loan program that helps finance water infrastructure projects across the country. The DWSRF focuses on investing in infrastructure that will improve water quality and protect public health.
  • Fully fund the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), a new federal loan program that will offer low-cost financing for major water infrastructure projects costing more than $20 million – generally too large to receive meaningful assistance through the DWSRF. Eligible projects will include a wide range of construction, replacement and rehabilitation efforts, as well as measures to reduce a utility’s energy consumption or increase its water efficiency.  Congress must also reform WIFIA to allow it to assist projects that also receive funding via tax-exempt municipal bond issuances.
  • Maintain the federal tax exemption for interest earned on municipal bonds. Tax-exempt municipal bonds allow water systems to obtain project financing at lower interest rates, allowing local ratepayer dollars to stretch even further. Over the past ten years cities and towns have used tax-exempt municipal bonds to finance nearly $258 billion worth of water and sewer infrastructure projects.

Recent Letters and Comments

2014

Letter to OMB on FY16 water infrastructure funding priorities
November 3, 2014

Letter to Congress on WIFIA funding in FY15 omnibus appropriations bill
November 3, 2014

Fiscal year 2016 WIFIA funding request to EPA
October 31, 2014

WIFIA implementation recommendations to EPA
July 22, 2014

Letter requesting FY15 appropriations for WIFIA and the SRF programs
May 30, 2014

Statement to House Appropriations Committee in support of strong FY15 SRF funding
April 16, 2014

Letter to House appropriators requesting strong FY15 SRF funding
April 3, 2014

Letter in support of WIFIA "Dear Colleague"
February 28, 2014

Letter to White House requesting robust FY15 SRF funding levels
January 31, 2014

2013

WIFIA summary with recommended technical corrections
November 20, 2013

Letter to Senate conferees in support of WIFIA
November 13, 2013

Letter to House T&I Committee leaders in support of WIFIA
November 13, 2013

Letter to senators in support of WIFIA
September 9, 2013

Letter to Congress in opposition to proposed FY14 SRF funding cuts
July 29, 2013

Coalition letter in support of tax-exempt municipal bonds
July 24, 2013

One-page briefing paper on WIFIA
June 2013

Letter to senators on S. 601, the "Water Resources Development Act of 2013"
April 29, 2013

Statement to House Appropriations Committee in support of FY14 SRF funding
April 25, 2013

Letter to Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in support of WIFIA title in S. 601
March 19, 2013