The North American Development Bank (NADB) and the City of Presidio marked the start-up of construction activities for a water system improvement project that, upon completion, will benefit the 4,000 residents of Presidio by providing reliable access to sustainable drinking water services. The US$4.5 million project is being partly financed by a US$3 million grant from the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and administered by the Bank. The project will also receive an NADB loan for up to US$1.5 million.
Local officials who helped kick off the project construction were Presidio Mayor John Ferguson, City Administrator Jose Portillo, and Business Director Brad Newton. Also participating in the virtual ceremony were U.S. Senator John Cornyn, U.S. Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23), Texas State Senator and NADB Board Member Jose Rodriguez, EPA Region 6 Administrator Ken McQueen and NADB Managing Director Calixto Mateos-Hanel.
“Investing in modern, efficient infrastructure along our border streamlines trade and benefits not only Texas, but the entire nation,” said Sen. Cornyn. “The North American Development Bank has a proven record of improving the quality of life on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and I commend their investment in Presidio.”
“Improving our nation’s water infrastructure in communities across the country is a top priority for the Trump Administration,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This new grant complements the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement creating a comprehensive approach to addressing an urgent public health and environmental need in border communities.”
The project, which was approved by the NADB Board of Directors in November 2019, includes the construction of a transmission line between two storage tanks, a new water line and booster station, and a 50,000-gallon water storage tank
“Reliable water infrastructure is one of the most important components of public health, so EPA is happy to partner with the Presidio community to fund this project,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Bringing water services to small border communities will improve environmental and health outcomes for the broader region. I thank Congressman Hurd, Senator Cornyn, and NADB Managing Director Calixto Mateos-Hanel for their hard work and cooperation in driving the project’s success.”
The project, which was approved by the NADB Board of Directors in November 2019, includes the construction of a transmission line between two storage tanks, a new water line and booster station, and a 50,000-gallon water storage tank. In addition to extending the distribution system to 10 households located outside the city’s current service area, these improvements will help eliminate service interruptions and prevent at least 80,000 gallons per day in water losses, as well as protect water quality, by reducing line breaks that can lead to contamination of the water supply. An audit revealed that the system is losing more than 30% of the water it produces, mostly attributed to high pressure causing frequent line breaks and leaks. The frequent line breaks and water losses impact the utility’s financial health and the sustainability of the water supply.
"This investment by NADB in Presidio's future is critically needed. I'm glad to see the Bank’s work realized in this border community, which I am proud to represent from the Texas Senate," said state Sen. and NADB member José Rodríguez.
“The City of Presidio was in significant need of funds to make the improvements to their water system and protect the health of its residents by preventing the risk of waterborne diseases due to faulty infrastructure,” stated Mateos-Hanel. “NADB is proud to have collaborated with EPA to provide the financing for this important project for this Texas community.” “I would also like to recognize Senator Cornyn and Congressman Hurd for their continued support of the Bank and EPA’s Border Water Infrastructure Program in benefit of small communities such as Presidio.”
In Texas, NADB has supported the development and implementation of 66 projects that represent a total investment of close to US$1.5 billion. NADB has provided more than US$615 million in loan and grants for these projects.