Financing for Environmental Compliance
Water Resources and Tools
According to the EPA GAP Analysis (PDF) (54 pp, 1.9MB,About PDF) estimates, communities will face a spending gap of over $485 billion dollars between 2000-2019 to improve water and wastewater infrastructure. EPA’s Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative helps communities by offering a variety of strategies to make the best and most cost effective infrastructure decisions. These innovative approaches can help communities limit costs and achieve and sustain compliance.
Local governments are clearly concerned about how to pay for water and wastewater infrastructure. The United States Conference of Mayors’ Urban Water Council (UWC) National City Water Survey (PDF) (35 pp, 945K, About PDF) found that the most frequently identified priority is aging water resource infrastructure. 92% of the responding cities plan to make major capital investments between 2005-2009.
Projects to improve water infrastructure require relatively large and consistent revenue sources and cities often use bonds, loans, and/or grants to raise the necessary capital. Smaller revenue mechanisms such as taxes, fees or rate increases are often sufficient to fund operation and maintenance programs.
It is often difficult to properly determine an adequate water rate. The 2004 AWWA Water and Wastewater Survey states that the average monthly wastewater rates for the average customer (1,000 cf/ 7,480 gallons) are:
- Large system $22.79 (defined as billing > 60 million gallons per day)
- Medium system $21.65 (defined as billing 15-60 million gallons per day)
- Small system $25.39 (defined as billing < 15 million gallons per day)
The Environmental Finance Center at Boise State University provides a free rate-setting software, Rate Checkup, to help communities set water and wastewater rates and plan for future expenditures.
The Clean Water Act Compliance Assistance web site focuses on EPA's compliance assistance tools supporting the Clean Water Act. It provides access to clean water-related environmental compliance assistance, compliance monitoring and enforcement information by providing links to the Clean Water Act text, and other documents, tools, information related to the protection of water resources.
The Safe Drinking Water Act Compliance Assistance web site focuses on EPA's compliance assistance tools supporting drinking water quality. It provides access to drink water-related environmental compliance assistance, compliance monitoring and enforcement information by providing links to the Safe Drinking Water Act text, and other documents, tools, information related to the protection of drinking water resources.
To help communities plan to meet future compliance requirement, EPA maintains a searchable database containing information about new regulations, proposed rules, the Federal Register, dockets, and the regulatory agenda of future regulations to allow systems to better plan expansions and upgrades. The Office of Ground and Drinking Water maintains a web page containing information about current and proposed regulations, guidance, policies and other resources.
The right side toolbar contains information which may be helpful to access during the financial planning process. The tools include technical and financial provider and resource information as well as program contacts.
This site also includes specialized resources for small communities and tribes.