Nationally, 88 WIFIA loans are financing nearly $33 billion in water infrastructure upgrades, creating 100,000 jobs
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a second Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Englewood for $38 million to support the City’s drinking water initiative, the One Water Modernization Program. With EPA’s WIFIA loan, Englewood will protect its drinking water system from the impacts of extreme weather events and reduce exposure to lead while promoting regulatory compliance.
“Drinking water utilities across the country, but most certainly in the west, are facing compounding issues – aging infrastructure, emerging contaminants, climate impacts, and severe drought,” said EPA Office of Water Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox. “I’m thrilled that Englewood will be using their second WIFIA loan to increase resiliency and provide cleaner, safer water, all while saving their residents money and creating good-paying jobs. These are the exact types of projects that EPA will be funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in communities across the country.”
“Colorado Front Range communities must prioritize resiliency as we continue to grow and as climate change brings about and intensifies extreme weather,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “By taking advantage of EPA’s WIFIA loan program, the City of Englewood is leading the pack, prioritizing clean water access while creating good-paying jobs.”
Englewood, Colorado, is located in a water-constrained and rapidly changing region. As a result, the city is pursuing a comprehensive water infrastructure modernization plan called One Water Modernization Program. With this loan, Englewood will modernize its drinking water treatment and distribution systems to be more resilient during floods, blizzards, and other extreme weather events. The city will also replace thousands of lead service lines, improve drinking water taste and odor, and increase water supply by 290 acre-feet of water per year. Additionally, homeowners will be converted from flat rate, non-metered water services to a metered system to save customers money and promote water conservation.
“The EPA’s $38 million WIFIA loan will be critical to modernizing our water treatment plant, addressing lead service lines, and making our water system safer and more resilient,” said Englewood Mayor Othoniel Sierra. “We feel very fortunate to access this level of funding with much lower borrowing costs. It allows the City to make these critical improvements while keeping rates affordable for our customers.”
Englewood will save approximately $15.7 million by financing with a WIFIA loan. Construction and operation are estimated to create approximately 565 jobs.