In an important victory for U.S. water utilities and their customers, a House-Senate committee has released legislation to create a pilot
"The imminent creation of the
The creation of a WIFIA is part of the larger Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which now advances for formal approval in the
"We at WEF know that continued progress on clean water will require innovative technological practices and also innovative financing," said Dr.
While AWWA and WEF praised WIFIA as an important step forward, the associations also called for future adjustments to allow the program to achieve its full potential. The pilot program limits WIFIA funding to 49 percent of projects and prohibits tax-exempt financing for the remaining portions. "WIFIA will be most effective when communities can fund 100 percent of project costs, and any non-WIFIA share should be allowed to be financed with tax-exempt debt," LaFrance said. "We are committed to working with our leaders in
If a utility saves just two percentage points on the interest rate for a 30-year loan, it means 25 percent savings in the financing of a project. On large projects, the savings can amount to hundreds of millions of dollars that would otherwise be absorbed through customer bills over many years.
AWWA, WEF, the
In 2012, AWWA published a comprehensive report titled Buried No Longer: Confronting America's Water Infrastructure Challenge, which demonstrated that Americans will have to invest more than
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