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Renewing Investment in Water Resources

The United States has one of the largest and most advanced water sectors in the world. This complex arrangement of water and wastewater systems consists of dams, levees, treatment plants, and an intricate network of pipelines. Each one of these facilities plays an essential role in allowing our nation’s communities to receive reliable, safe, and clean drinking water.

These systems are under an almost continual strain and require constant maintenance and periodic rehabilitation efforts. Additionally, as older systems become obsolete and require replacement with new technology, the need for dedicated water resource funding is essential in keeping this sophisticated water system running smoothly. Through a continued investment in grants, loans, and tax exemptions for municipal bonds, elected officials at the local and state level play a critical role in making this system sustainable.

Understanding the available funding options can be a daunting and overwhelming task for many organizations. Nevertheless, procurement of funding is a necessary and critical step to ensure a project has the required resources for success. The professionals at Snyder & Associates are experienced and well-versed when it comes to navigating the numerous funding programs available and finding the right plans for each specific project.

Factors to Keep In Mind As You Browse Funding Opportunities

Municipalities may tap into federal and state grants or local taxes and bonds, while water suppliers could have access to funds focused on land conservation in their watersheds. State or local foundations may have a priority interest in public health or water quality. Envision this as a quilt that pieces together multiple diverse aspects of funding into one project. This strategy also provides backup options and reducing the reliance on a single source of funding.

Water Resource Funding Programs for Iowa Communities

In Iowa, State Resource Funds (SRF) are an excellent source to finance the design and construction of water and wastewater infrastructure projects. The SRF has multiple loans available for specific project types, including drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) jointly administer the SRF for the state. The DNR manages the environmental and permitting aspects while the IFA administers the financing for the program.

Planning and Design Loans

  • Cover costs incurred in the planning and design phase of a water infrastructure project
  • Planning and design costs must be directly related to SRF-eligible wastewater, stormwater, or drinking water projects
  • Zero percent interest for up to three years
  • No initiation or servicing fees
  • No minimum or maximum loan amount
  • Eligible projects include planning of treatment plants, improvements to existing facilities, water line extensions to existing unserved properties, water storage facilities, and wells

Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)

  • Iowa’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) is used to finance wastewater treatment, sewer rehabilitation, replacement, construction, and stormwater quality improvements
  • Requires Intended Use Plan (IUP) application to request inclusion in CWSRF. Once the project posts on an approved IUP, it is eligible for an SRF loan
  • Applications are accepted year-round and IUP’s are updated each quarter. The CWSRF has created a document called the State Revolving Fund Intended Use Plan Update Schedule that provides deadlines and specific dates
  • Applicants must follow the wastewater construction permitting process to be eligible to apply for the CWSRF
  • Eligible groups: publicly owned wastewater treatment works, including those owned by cities, counties, sanitary districts, and utility management organizations. For nonpoint source projects, both public and private entities including farmers, landowners, watershed organizations, landfills, and rural homeowners
  • Offers an interest rate of 1.75% for loans up to 20 years. The origination fee is 0.5% and the servicing fee is 0.25%. Extended financing of up to 30 years is available for some loans

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF)

  • Funds water treatment plants or improvements to existing facilities, water line extensions to existing unserved properties, water storage facilities, wells, and source water protection efforts
  • Requires an IUP application to request inclusion in DWSRF. Once the project posts on an approved IUP, it is eligible to apply for an SRF loan
  • Applications are accepted year-round, and IUP’s are updated each quarter. The DWSRF has created a document called the State Revolving Fund Intended Use Plan Update Schedule that provides deadlines and specific dates
  • Eligible groups: public and private community water systems, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, non-transient non-community public water supplies if they are either publicly owned or not-for-profit and transient non-community systems if owned by government entities
  • Offers an interest rate of 1.75% for loans up to 20 years. The origination fee is 0.5% and the servicing fee is 0.25%. Extended financing of up to 30 years is available for some loans

SRF loans are a highly utilized tool by our team and provide expansive benefits for a wide range of projects. Snyder & Associates can help your community make project decisions that maximize funding potential.

Additional Water Resources Funding Options

SRF Source Water Protection

  • Provides funding to help public water supplies acquire land and conservation easements from willing sellers or fund source water protection practices in their wellhead or source water protection areas

SRF Loan Forgiveness

  • Provides funds to the Public Health Category to address imminent health issues

United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (RD)

  • Provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and stormwater drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas

Wastewater and Drinking Water Treatment Financial Assistance Fund

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

  • Provides funding to assist cities and counties with projects such as sanitary sewer system improvements, water system improvements, water, and wastewater treatment facility projects, storm sewer projects related to sanitary sewer system improvements and rural water connections

General Obligation (GO) Bonds

  • Municipal bonds backed by the credit and taxing power of the issuing jurisdiction rather than the revenue from a given project

Revenue Bonds

  • Municipal bonds that finance income-producing projects and are secured by a specified revenue source

Many of these programs also have specific project types, uses, and eligible party requirements to qualify for funds. The overarching theme throughout them all is to help spread the integration of new technological solutions into America’s water infrastructure and help maintain the intricate system already in place. Our team can help communities accomplish those goals by sharing our knowledge and expertise on which options best match your project’s funding and budget needs.

Although we’ve focused on Iowa-based programs here, Snyder & Associates has 12 office locations spread across five Midwest states, which all states have similar water resource funding options to best suit your project goals. The primary goal of our team is to create healthy and advanced water resource systems for our clients. We accomplish this by helping them maximize their funding potential available in their region.

Use the form below to contact your local Snyder & Associates office to find out how we can help identify funding options to keep your projects moving forward.

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