Water-sector organizations push Congress to fully fund SRFs

February 20, 2024

Nearly two dozen water sector organizations have sent a letter to Congress requesting full funding of the Clean Water and Drinking Water state revolving funds (SRFs), amounting to $3 billion each in fiscal year 2024.

SRFs, which are managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), help states and local communities finance infrastructure projects that improve water quality and provide services. Increased funding for these loans is necessary due to rising costs in planning, design, construction and financing of water projects, heightened by increased interest rates, the organizations wrote.

“Fully funding the SRFs will expand access to affordable financing for water infrastructure that protects public health,” the letter states. “Without increased federal funding for this critical public health infrastructure, the risk of exposure to preventable diseases from poor water quality and water scarcity will increase for millions of Americans.”

Among causes of rising project costs are aging infrastructure and higher water quality standards, the letter says. However, the increase in necessary allocations is not consistent with historical inflation and remains above pre-pandemic levels.

By securing the congressionally authorized levels of funding, SRFs will allow financing to remain affordable, will subsidize grants to underserved communities and create a pool of loan repayments to fund water infrastructure projects on an ongoing basis, the organizations said.

The Council on Infrastructure Financing Authorities (CIFA) organized the letter, which was addressed to four chair members. Organizations including the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce backed the message.

Congress aims to complete its FY24 spending plan by March 8, when the EPA’s temporary extension of its FY 2023 budget is scheduled to expire.

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Photo by benjamin lehman on Unsplash

Gracie Warhurst

Gracie Warhurst has joined Strategic Partnerships, Inc. as a writer and digital content creator for the new Government Market News portal. With a rich background in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, Warhurst has experience as editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, assistant web editor, and project manager for an AI journalism project. She also contributed as a reporter during the development of SPI's news portal. Warhurst graduated summa cum laude in December 2023 with a Bachelor's in Journalism and a certificate in creative writing, making her a valuable asset to the SPI team.

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