The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking letters of interest for a funding program to help state and local governments, tribes, partnerships and other entities construct and upgrade water infrastructure projects.
The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Program (WIFIA), a federal loan and guarantee program, recently got a boost with $63 million in the 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act, more than doubling its funding from 2017. The program aims to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects.
USGBC believes the financial assistance is a powerful tool for the federal government to leverage funds to improve the nation’s water infrastructure and efficiency and to help us respond to changing climate conditions, such as drought and extreme heat.
Eligible projects include some Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) or Drinking Water SRF projects, enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking and wastewater facilities and acquisition of property that will mitigate the environmental impact of the project.
Among the program selection criteria is the use of innovative approaches, such as energy-efficient systems, green infrastructure and developing drinking water sources through alternative means like water recycling. USGBC has long advanced green infrastructure as a practical and cost-effective solution through credits in LEED and SITES.
Additionally, the selection criteria leaves room for projects to incorporate best practices for resilience in water infrastructure. Criteria include projects that pursue drought prevention, reduction or mitigation, projects that aim to protect against extreme weather such as floods or hurricanes and projects that serve economically stressed communities.
- Get more details on the WIFIA application process.
- Read about key USGBC priorities in the federal budget.
- Learn the synergies between SITES and LEED.
For more information on how governments can harness the benefits of green infrastructure, see Advocacy and Policy’s new brief, Green Infrastructure: Menu of State Policy Options.