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EPA publishes guidance to help states improve drinking water infrastructure

  • EPA publishes guidance to help states improve drinking water infrastructure

About the entity

United States Environmental Protection Agency. The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

Building on recent successes to move President Donald Trump’s infrastructure agenda forward by providing the financing and resources communities need to modernize local water infrastructure, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new guidance for states to use when applying for financing from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).

In 2018 the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) committed $2.8 billion in drinking water infrastructure loans and refinancing and disbursed $2.5 billion for drinking water infrastructure to improve our nation’s public health.

Last week in a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler suggested federal water funding programs would be excellent models for international organizations to adopt in order to address the global water crisis. 

This guidance for states highlights recent changes made to the DWSRF as a result of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018. Of note, AWIA:

  • increases the amount of additional subsidy available to disadvantaged communities;
  • expands eligible uses of the DWSRF set-asides to include source water protection activities and source water assessments;
  • extends the American Iron and Steel provision for DWSRF-funded projects through federal fiscal year 2023; and
  • increases the maximum-authorized DWSRF loan term up to 30 years for any DWSRF-eligible community or up to 40 years for state-defined disadvantaged community.

A critical component of maintaining and repairing aging water infrastructure is properly managing assets such as tanks, pipes and pumps. Through planning and conducting inventories, systems can maximize their infrastructure investments while minimizing the total cost of owning and operating them. To support this work, EPA has also released an updated State Asset Management Initiatives document. This document update, required by AWIA, allows states to learn about the various state asset management promotion initiatives.


Since the DWSRF was established in 1997, the EPA has worked with the states to turn $20 billion of the American taxpayers’ money into $38 billion in assistance to infrastructure projects that are delivering drinking water to thousands of communities across the country—especially in low-income communities and where public health risk is the highest. The Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) play an integral role in President Trump’s efforts to rebuild the country’s aging water infrastructure while improving local water quality, creating jobs, and protecting public health. In 2018, the SRFs committed $9.6 billion in drinking water and clean water infrastructure loans and refinancing and disbursed $8.8 billion for drinking water and clean water infrastructure. 

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