OCWD on Exclusive List to Apply for WIFIA Loan
The Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) has been invited to apply for a $124 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). OCWD was one of 12 selected from a group of 43 projects that span the nation.
The District will use this loan to help complete the final expansion of the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), which will increase advanced purified water production from 100 to 130 million gallons per day—enough to meet the water needs of 1 million people in north and central Orange County.
“OCWD’s favorable financial standing has allowed us to provide greater water reliability for the region by financing and securing low-cost funding for critical capital projects like the Groundwater Replenishment System,” stated OCWD President Denis Bilodeau. “We are grateful to EPA for preapproving OCWD to access WIFIA funding for the final expansion of the GWRS.”
According to EPA, “The selected projects demonstrate the broad range of project types that the WIFIA program can finance including wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and water recycling projects.”
The objective of the WIFIA program, a new federal loan and guarantee program at EPA, is to advance investment in United States water infrastructure by providing low-cost, long-term supplemental credit assistance for significant projects across the country.