EPA Announces $81 Million Loan Supporting Water Supply Resilience in Yucaipa and Calimesa, California
EPA’s WIFIA program is supporting $36 billion in water infrastructure upgrades and investments in public health protection
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an $81 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Yucaipa Valley Water District to modernize its recycled water and drinking water facilities and help ensure a dependable water supply in the wake of drought impacts in California.
“California and the western United States are suffering from the impacts of extreme drought including dwindling water resources, which require long-term, resilient water infrastructure investment,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “EPA is thrilled to be able to invest in resilient water infrastructure technologies to ensure a dependable water supply for the 65,000 people in Yucaipa and Calimesa.”
With this initial WIFIA loan, EPA is helping the Yucaipa Valley Water District upgrade its recycled water and drinking water facilities to support reliable safe drinking water. While the initial loan is $81 million, EPA is committing over $120 million in WIFIA financing, which will help accelerate the implementation of its project.
The WIFIA loan announced today will increase production and improve operational efficiency at Yucaipa Valley Water District’s recycled water and drinking water facilities to help offset the effects of drought and climate change in the region. Additionally, installation of solar arrays and battery storage systems will improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and produce 7 megawatts of renewable energy. The projects are part of the regional Watershed Connect effort to diversify the water supply portfolio and secure a sustainable water future in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
“The Yucaipa Valley Water District is grateful, proud, and excited to be awarded a WIFIA loan from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Joseph Zoba, General Manager of the Yucaipa Valley Water District. “This funding is needed to expand the micro- and molecular filtration processes at our drinking water facility and wastewater treatment plant, expand the recycled water system, and build new renewable energy systems to power our most important facilities. This investment in our water and energy infrastructure will benefit existing customers and provide the foundation necessary to build a resilient and sustainable Yucaipa Valley.”
By securing a low-interest EPA WIFIA loan, Yucaipa Valley Water District will save approximately $24.5 million. Construction and operation under this first loan are estimated to create approximately 500 jobs.
Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. The WIFIA program’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.
The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs. With this loan closing, EPA’s WIFIA program has announced 98 loans that are providing $17 billion in credit assistance to help finance $36 billion for water infrastructure while creating 122,000 jobs and saving ratepayers over $5 billion.
EPA is currently accepting letters of interest for WIFIA and SWIFIA loans. In June, EPA announced the availability of $5.5 billion under the 2022 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability and an additional $1 billion under the SWIFIA program. Together, this newly available funding will support more than $13 billion in water infrastructure projects while creating more than 40,000 jobs.