In late March, the U.S. Congress and President Donald Trump approved a $1.3 trillion federal spending package that more than doubles the funding for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) as well as increasing the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan program.
Within the federal omnibus budget bill, WIFIA received $63 million and the DWSRF received $1.16 billion. President Trump’s signing of the bill keeps the U.S. government funded through the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018.
WIFIA is intended to lower the cost of large water infrastructure projects by providing low-interest, long-term Federal loans to communities. The additional funding will allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to solicit more letters of interest and loan applications from interested water utilities.
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) applauded the increased funding for WIFIA. “We are grateful for their support and offer our sincere thanks to both branches of the Federal government. There is a compelling need to replace and expand America’s water and wastewater infrastructure, and WIFIA is crucial to success in renewing these assets,” says Tracy Mehan, AWWA Executive Director of Government Affairs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development programs also received more than $4 billion for the water and wastewater loan and grant program within the federal budget omnibus budget bill.