California State Treasurer Fiona Ma announced the sale of $83.9 million in revenue bonds for of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to provide financial assistance to local governments for safe drinking water projects, April 24th.

The sale represents the inaugural issuance of bonds by the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program. The DWSRF Program provides low-cost financing for planning, design, construction and implementation of critical drinking water infrastructure improvements necessary to mitigate drinking water risks to human health throughout the State. As of June 30, 2018, the State Water Board had provided $3.0 billion from the DWSRF program to 296 recipients for 455 eligible projects.

The SWRCB Safe Drinking Water Program, which includes the DWSRF as one of its main funding sources, is responsible for the regulatory oversight of about 8,000 public water systems throughout the state.

“When Governor Gavin Newsom released his budget in January, he said access to safe and affordable drinking water should be a fundamental right,” according to Treasurer Ma. “Our action helps bring affordable financing to communities seeking to maintain or improve the quality of their service to their ratepayers.”

State Water Board Chair E. Joaquin Esquivel said, “As California’s water infrastructure continues to age, suffer from underinvestment, adapt to the challenges of a changing climate, and we endeavor to ensure clean, secure and affordable drinking water for all Californians, the demand for financial tools like the Water Board’s revolving loan programs will continue to grow. This sale and the eight projects it encompasses are reflective of the commitment of the Water Board to innovate and expand the financial tools and resources key to meeting California’s 21 st century water challenges.”

The DWSRF Program provides low-cost financing for planning, design, construction and implementation of critical drinking water infrastructure improvements necessary to mitigate drinking water risks to human health throughout the State. As of June 30, 2018, the State Water Board had provided $3.0 billion from the DWSRF to 296 recipients for 455 eligible projects.

Millions of dollars have already been pledged by the SWRCB to eight recipients for current or recently completed water projects. The eight recipients of funds for major projects that affect Californians’ access to safe and affordable drinking water are from the following cities: Fresno (3 projects); Los Angeles (2 projects); Sacramento (1 project); San Diego (1 project); South Pasadena (1 project).

By Rich Lambros ECA Interim Executive Director Email: [email protected]