WIFIA Water Infrastructure Funding Introduced to U.S. Senate

January 9, 2013

Laws & Regs

On Nov. 14, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D–Ore.) introduced the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), according to a news release from Merkley’s office. He supports WIFIA as a way to help communities upgrade and replace water and wastewater infrastructure while providing a source of jobs, the news release says.

Modeled after the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), WIFIA would create a federal loan guarantee program to provide low-interest loans, loan guarantees, or other credit for larger projects that would be funded by the U.S. Treasury. Utilities would pay back loans over time with interest.

“The legislation offers a proven, modern, and effective way to help increase investment in our infrastructure while reducing cost to local governments and ratepayers,” the news release says.

Garnering support for the legislation was the primary focus of the 2012 Water Matters! Fly-In hosted by the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) and American Water Works Association (Denver). Read more about the event in the Highlights article “2012 Water Matters! Fly-In Participants Combine Their Voices To Make a Difference.”

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