U.S. Senate Committee approves Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority

A U.S. Senate Committee passed legislation that would create a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority.

March 21, 2013 -- A U.S. Senate Committee today passed legislation that would create a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority, a development the American Water Works Association hailed as pivotal in confronting America’s trillion-dollar water infrastructure challenge.

If enacted into law, WIFIA would make low-interest federal loans available to address large water infrastructure projects in communities across the United States. AWWA, a chief proponent for the creation of WIFIA for several years, is urging water utilities and businesses across the water sector to actively support the bill as it heads to the full Senate.

"Today represents a pivotal moment in assuring America’s water infrastructure challenge is no longer buried," said AWWA Executive Director David LaFrance. "WIFIA would help communities repair more critical water infrastructure at a lower cost. Ultimately, WIFIA would benefit everyone who pays a water bill."

Based on a successful financing tool in the transportation sector, WIFIA would aid communities with pipe replacement, new or upgraded treatment plants, wastewater reuse and desalination projects, and new water supply projects. The provision is part of the Water Resources Development Act of 2013, which is expected to reach the Senate floor by May of 2013.

"Committee Chair Barbara Boxer and Ranking Member David Vitter should be recognized for their exemplary bi-partisan effort to advance such a significant water infrastructure bill," LaFrance said.

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