In early June 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a second Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan for Englewood, Colorado. The loan comes in the amount of $38 million to support the city’s drinking water initiative, known as the One Water Modernization Program. The loan will help reduce the community’s exposure to lead in drinking water, protect the system from extreme weather, and create good jobs in the process.
Englewood’s Water Infrastructure Efforts
Englewood is located in a water-constrained region that is additionally plagued by severe weather caused by the effects of climate change. The city is pursuing a comprehensive water infrastructure modernization plan, the One Water Modernization Program. The goal is to modernize Englewood’s drinking water treatment and distribution systems, allowing them to be more resilient during extreme weather events like floods and blizzards. The city will be replacing thousands of lead service lines, helping to improve the public’s drinking water taste and color as well as increasing the water supply by 290 acre-feet of water per year. Homeowners will be converted from flat-rate, non-metered water services to a metered system to save customers money while promoting water conservation at the same time.
It’s estimated that the city of Englewood will save about $15.7 million by financing these infrastructure efforts with the EPA’s WIFIA loan. The program is estimated to create nearly 600 new jobs as well.
About The WIFIA Loan Program
The WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program established by the EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014. The goal of the program is to “accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.”
The WIFIA program prioritizes projects that help achieve the Biden Administration’s Justice40 initiative, the goal of which is to ensure that federal agencies deliver at least 40% of benefits from certain investments to communities that are underserved. Nationally, the 88 WIFIA loans are providing a total of $15 billion in credit assistance, financing nearly $33 billion for water infrastructure projects across the country while creating some 100,000 jobs in the process.
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