On August 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new factsheets on Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) uses. DWSRF funds help communities make water infrastructure capital improvements, including the installation and replacement of failing treatment and distribution programs. The American Rescue Plan Act allows counties to invest their State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund allocations in water and sewer infrastructure, aligning the eligible uses of these funds with the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and DWSRF. The new factsheets provide case studies, best practices and ideas on how counties can use funds for water and infrastructure investments.
Counties play an essential role in building and maintaining America’s water infrastructure and invest more than $134 billion overall in infrastructure per year. In addition, more than 70 percent of counties invest in storm sewer systems. Counties regularly address water infrastructure needs, have the responsibility to provide water services and have the authority to own and operate drinking water systems. The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund offers each county the ability to invest these funds in projects to ensure that all residents have access to clean water.
Counties support the DWSRF program as a supplement to, not a substitute for, federal grants program. Grants and technical assistance should be made available to those small, rural, disadvantaged communities that cannot meet their needs solely with loans. States should provide adequate funds to match federal grants to the DWSRF program and assure flexibility in the administration of such loans.